Marriage in Ancient Rome and1 Corinthians 7 – Marriage

September 19, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Marriage in Ancient Rome

Marriage in ancient Rome was a strictly monogamous institution: a Roman citizen by law could have only one spouse at a time.

Roman couple joining hands; the bride's belt may show the knot symbolizing that the husband was "belted and bound" to her, which he was to untie in their bed (4th century sarcophagus. Marriage in ancient Rome was a strictly monogamous institution: a Roman citizen by law could have only one spouse at a time.  The practice of monogamy distinguished the Greeks and Romans from other ancient civilizations, in which elite males typically had multiple wives. Greco-Roman monogamy may have arisen from the egalitarianism of the democratic and republican political systems of the city-states. It is one aspect of ancient Roman culture that was embraced by early Christianity, which in turn perpetuated it as an ideal in later Western culture.

Roman couple joining hands; the bride’s belt may show the knot symbolizing that the husband was “belted and bound” to her, which he was to untie in their bed (4th century sarcophagus.
Marriage in ancient Rome was a strictly monogamous institution: a Roman citizen by law could have only one spouse at a time.
The practice of monogamy distinguished the Greeks and Romans from other ancient civilizations, in which elite males typically had multiple wives. Greco-Roman monogamy may have arisen from the egalitarianism of the democratic and republican political systems of the city-states. It is one aspect of ancient Roman culture that was embraced by early Christianity, which in turn perpetuated it as an ideal in later Western culture.

The practice of monogamy distinguished the Greeks and Romans from other ancient civilizations, in which elite males typically had multiple wives.

Greco-Roman monogamy may have arisen from the egalitarianism of the democratic and republican political systems of the city-states.

It is one aspect of ancient Roman culture that was embraced by early Christianity, which in turn perpetuated it as an ideal in later Western culture.

Marriage had mythical precedents, starting with the abduction of the Sabine Women, which may reflect the archaic custom of bride abduction.

Romulus and his band of male immigrants were rejected conubium, the legal right to intermarriage, from the Sabines.

According to Livy, Romulus and his men abducted the Sabine maidens, but promised them an honorable marriage, in which they would enjoy the benefits of property, citizenship, and children.

These three benefits seem to define the purpose of marriage in ancient Rome.

The word matrimonium, the root for the English word “matrimony,” defines the institution’s main function. Involving the mater (mother), it carries with it the implication of the man taking to woman in marriage to have children.

It is the idea conventionally shared by Romans as to the purpose of marriage, which would be to produce legitimate children; citizens producing new citizens.

Consortium is a word used for the sharing of property, usually used in a technical sense for the property held by heirs, but could also be used in the context of marriage. Such usage was commonly seen in Christian writings.

However, the sharing of water and fire (aquae et ignis communiciatio) was symbolically more important.

It refers to the sharing of natural resources. Worldly possessions transferred automatically from the wife to the husband in archaic times, whereas the classical marriage kept the wife’s property separate.

A group portrait of a mother, son and daughter on glass (c. 250 AD), once thought to be the family of Valentinian III. The lives of elite Roman women were essentially determined by their marriages. We are best informed about families with both wealth and political standing, whose largely inherited money would follow both their sons and their daughters.  In the earliest periods of Roman history, Manus Marriage meant that a married woman would be subjugated by her husband, but that custom had died out by the 1st century B.C. in favor of Free Marriage which did not grant a husband any rights over his wife or have any changing effect on a woman's status.

A group portrait of a mother, son and daughter on glass (c. 250 AD), once thought to be the family of Valentinian III.
The lives of elite Roman women were essentially determined by their marriages. We are best informed about families with both wealth and political standing, whose largely inherited money would follow both their sons and their daughters.
In the earliest periods of Roman history, Manus Marriage meant that a married woman would be subjugated by her husband, but that custom had died out by the 1st century B.C. in favor of Free Marriage which did not grant a husband any rights over his wife or have any changing effect on a woman’s status.

In order for the union of a man and woman to be legitimate, there needed to be consent legally and morally.

Both parties had to be willing and intend to marry, and both needed their fathers’ consent. If all other legal conditions were met, a marriage was made.

Adultery

Adultery was a sexual offense committed by a man with a woman who was neither his wife nor a permissible partner such as a prostitute or slave.

A married man committed adultery mainly when his female partner was another man’s wife or unmarried daughter.

The punishment varied at different periods of Roman history and depending on the circumstances.

Although prohibitions against adultery and harsh punishments are mentioned during the Republic (509–27 B.C.) historical sources suggest that they were regarded as archaic survivals, and should not be interpreted as accurate representations of behavior.

Adultery was normally considered a private matter for families to deal with, not a serious criminal offense requiring the attention of the courts, though there were some cases when adultery and sexual transgressions by women had been brought to the aediles for judgment.

According to Cato (2nd century B.C.), a husband had an ancient right (ius) to kill his wife if he caught her in the act of adultery.

The existence of this “right” has been questioned; if it did exist, it was a matter of custom and not statute law, and probably only applied to those in the manus form of marriage, which had become vanishingly rare by the Late Republic (147–27 BC), when a married woman always remained legally a part of her own family.

No source records the justified killing of a woman for adultery by either a father or husband during the Republic.

Adultery was sufficient grounds for divorce, however, and if the wife was at fault, the wronged husband got to keep a portion of her dowry, though not much more than if he had repudiated her for less serious forms of misconduct.

Dowry

One of the most important aspects of the practical and business-like arrangement of Roman marriage was the dowry. The dowry was a contribution made by the wife’s family to the husband to cover the expenses of the household. It was more customary than compulsory.

There were several ways of celebrating a marriage, of which the simplest involved the consent of both parties, without rites or ceremony.  There were three others, each giving the husband legal power over his wife: By cohabiting for a year without the woman being absent for a total of three nights. By a symbolic form of purchase, in the presence of a holder of a pair of scales and five witnesses. By full ritual, in the presence of the pontifex maximus.

There were several ways of celebrating a marriage, of which the simplest involved the consent of both parties, without rites or ceremony.
There were three others, each giving the husband legal power over his wife:
By cohabiting for a year without the woman being absent for a total of three nights.
By a symbolic form of purchase, in the presence of a holder of a pair of scales and five witnesses.
By full ritual, in the presence of the pontifex maximus.

Ancient papyrus texts show that dowries typically included land and slaves but could also include jewelry, toilet articles (used to make women more attractive, such as mirrors), and clothing.

These items were connected with legacy and if the wife died early in the marriage, the dowry could be returned to her family and buried with her to give a more elaborate burial than was typical for the time, however that was not always the case.

The dowry was also how Roman families maintained their social status relative to each other. It was important to ensure that upon the end of a marriage, the dowry was returned to either the wife or her family.

This was done in order to improve her chances of remarriage as well as to maintain the family resources. In ancient Rome, the dowry became the husband’s full legal property.

In actuality, however, the purpose of the dowry often affected the husband’s freedom to use the dowry.

For example, if the dowry was given to help in the maintenance of the wife, or if a legal provision was made for the wife or her family to reclaim the dowry should the marriage dissolve, the husband was restricted as to how he could make use of the dowry.

The fate of the dowry at the end of a marriage depended on its original source. A dowry of dos recepticia was one in which agreements were made in advance about its disposal. The agreement made beforehand determined how this dowry would be recovered.

One of dos profecticia was a dowry given by the father of the bride. This type of dowry could be recovered by the donor or by a divorced daughter if her pater died.

A dowry of dos adventicia was given by the daughter herself, though it came from her pater.

This dowry usually came in non-traditional forms, for example, in lieu of a debt settlement, instead of being given as a direct charge on the pater’s estate. The wife usually recovered this dowry. However, if she died, the husband retained this dowry

Divorce

Divorce, like marriage, changed and evolved throughout Roman history. As the centuries passed and ancient Rome became more diversified, the laws and customs of divorce also changed and became more diversified to include the customs and beliefs of all the different people.

Divorce had always been a common occurrence in Rome and from the beginning of ancient law in Rome men have always had the possibility of divorcing their wives.

Although this custom was usually reserved for serious marital faults, such as adultery, making copies of the household keys, consuming wine, or infertility, it could be employed by a husband at any time.

For many centuries only husbands had this privilege but wives were finally included in this process and given permission to divorce their husbands as Rome entered into the classical age.

Since marriage was often used as a political tool in ancient Rome, especially in the upper classes, divorces were common when new political opportunities presented themselves.

Anytime a new opportunity arose, a man or woman would divorce their current spouse and marry a new one. A man or woman could form valuable family ties through their various marriages and divorces to different families.

A motivated man or woman might marry and divorce a couple times in their lifetime if they thought it to their advantage.

One of the main reasons for divorce, besides serious marital fault, was a desire to no longer remain married to a spouse.

Since one of the defining characteristics of marriage was a will to be married and an attitude of regarding one another as husband or wife, the marriage ended when the will or attitude ended.

A husband or wife would notify their spouse that they no longer desired to be married and the marriage would end.

It is interesting to note that only one spouse’s will was required for a divorce and that a divorce was still final even if the other spouse did not receive the notice of divorce. All that mattered was that one spouse wanted it to end, and it ended.

Divorce in ancient Rome was usually a private affair and only the parties involved were notified of it. A divorce did not have to be recognized or ratified by the church or state and no public record was kept of a divorce.

The lack of divorce records often led to some confusion with the numerous marriages and divorces going on.

One of the main components of a marriage was the exchange of the dowry between the husband and the wife or the wife’s guardian.

This would sometimes lead to disputes when the marriage ended because both parties wanted to claim the dowry.

It became an established custom that if the wife were not at fault for the ending of the marriage, then she was able to reclaim her dowry. This would often happen if the husband had committed offenses during the marriage, such as adultery.

Roman divorce was as simple as marriage. Just as marriage was only a declaration of intent to live together, divorce was just a declaration of a couple’s intent not to live together. All that the law required was that they declare their wish to divorce before seven witnesses.

Roman divorce was as simple as marriage. Just as marriage was only a declaration of intent to live together, divorce was just a declaration of a couple’s intent not to live together. All that the law required was that they declare their wish to divorce before seven witnesses.

Since either a husband or a wife could initiate a divorce, it became understood that if the wife wanted the divorce and there were children involved, then a husband could have some claim on the dowry based on the children.

Divorce from
Free Marriage

The Manus Marriage custom ended in the 1st century B.C. and the Free Marriage divorce emerged. With this, the reasons for any divorce became irrelevant. Either spouse could leave a marriage at any point.

Property during a marriage was kept separate under Roman Law, and this left only the dowry in common. In cases of adultery, husbands got to keep a portion of the dowry, but without the involvement of adultery women would take most if not all of their dowry with them, as well as their personal property.

However, the woman had to get permission from the government to have a divorce while the man could simply just kick the woman out of the house.

Remarriage and Widowhood

Remarriage was very common in ancient Rome society and many men and women were usually married at least twice in their lifetimes. This is due to the fact that there was a high infant mortality rate, high death rate, and low average life expectancy in ancient Rome.

Men and women did not live very long. This high mortality rate plus the high divorce rate, common in ancient Rome, led to many instances of remarriage. Since children were expected in marriage, each spouse usually brought at least one child to the new marriage.

Remarriages thus created a new blending of the family in ancient Roman society, where children were influenced by stepparents and some instances where stepmothers were younger than their stepchildren.

Most wives were encouraged to remarry after either the death of the husband or a divorce. Ancient physicians believed that a woman was liable to get very sick if she was deprived of sexual activity and it could even lead to a woman getting ‘’hysteric uterine constriction.”

There was even legislation passed during the rule of Augustus that required widows and widowers to remarry to be able to fully inherit from people outside of their immediate family.

Concubinage

Concubinage (Latin: contubernium; concubine=concubina, considered milder than paelex) was the institution practiced in ancient Rome that allowed men to enter into certain illegal relationships without repercussions, with the exception of involvement with prostitutes.

Statue of Yang Guifei (719-756), the favoured concubine of Emperor Tang Xuanzong of China. Concubinage is an interpersonal relationship in which a person (usually a woman) engages in an ongoing sexual relationship with another person to whom they are not or cannot be married.  The inability to marry may be due to differences in social rank (including slave status), or because the non-concubine is already married. The woman in such a relationship is referred to as a concubine.  Historically, concubinage was frequently voluntary by the woman and/or her family, as it provided a measure of economic security for the woman involved.

Statue of Yang Guifei (719-756), the favoured concubine of Emperor Tang Xuanzong of China.
Concubinage is an interpersonal relationship in which a person (usually a woman) engages in an ongoing sexual relationship with another person to whom they are not or cannot be married.
The inability to marry may be due to differences in social rank (including slave status), or because the non-concubine is already married. The woman in such a relationship is referred to as a concubine.
Historically, concubinage was frequently voluntary by the woman and/or her family, as it provided a measure of economic security for the woman involved.

This de facto polygamy – for Roman citizens could not legally marry or cohabit with a concubine while also having a legal wife – was “tolerated to the degree that it did not threaten the religious and legal integrity of the family”.

The title of concubine was not considered derogatory (as it may be considered today) in ancient Rome, and was often inscribed on tombstones.

Emperor Augustus’ Leges Juliae gave the first legal recognition of concubinage, defining it as cohabitation without marital status.

Concubinage came to define many relationships and marriages considered unsuitable under Roman law, such a senator’s desire to marry a freedwoman, or his cohabitation with a former prostitute.

While a man could live in concubinage with any woman of his choice rather than marrying her, he was compelled to give notice to authorities.

This type of cohabitation varied little from actual marriage, except that heirs from this union were not considered legitimate.

Often this was the reason that men of high rank would live with a woman in concubinage after the death of their first wife, so that the claims of their children from this first marriage would not be challenged by the children from this later union.

Concerning the difference between a concubine and a wife, the jurist Julius Paulus wrote in his Opinions that “a concubine differs from a wife only in the regard in which she is held,” meaning that a concubine was not considered a social equal to her patron, as his wife was.

While the official Roman law declared that a man could not have a concubine at the same time he had a wife, there are various notable occurrences of this, including the famous cases of the emperors Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, and Vespasian.

Suetonius wrote that Augustus “put Scribonia [his second wife] away because she was too free in complaining about the influence of his concubine”. Often, in return for payment, concubines would relay appeals to their emperor.

Concubines did not receive much protection under the law, aside from the legal recognition of their social stature. They largely relied upon their patrons to provide for them.

Early Roman law sought to differentiate between the status of concubinage and legal marriage, as demonstrated in a law attributed to Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, circa 716-673 B.C.:

Palace of the concubines

Palace of the concubines

“A concubine shall not touch the altar of Juno. If she touches it, she shall sacrifice, with her hair unbound, a ewe lamb to Juno.”

This fragment gives evidence that concubines existed early in the Roman monarchy, but also notes the banning of their involvement in the worship of Juno, the goddess of marriage.

Later the jurist Ulpian wrote on the Lex Julia et Papia,

“Only those women with whom intercourse is not unlawful can be kept in concubinage without the fear of committing a crime”.

He also said that “anyone can keep a concubine of any age unless she is less than twelve years old.”


You know Father, that there was a time when I didn’t believe in You.  When I finally got smart enough to realize that You are what I’ve always been told You are, I still didn’t believe in the fornication thing.

My mother would always tell me that if I have sex with a woman I’m not married to then I’ve basically dismissed You.  But then I read the Bible and got to now You Guys and now I understand it fully.  Sorry about that.

Tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Corinthians 7
Marriage

1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

A European painting of an Emperor of China inspecting his fantasy fishing fleet with his concubines. In ancient China, successful men often supported several concubines. For example, it has been documented that Chinese Emperors accommodated thousands of concubines. A concubine's treatment and situation were highly variable and were influenced by the social status of the male to whom she was engaged, as well as the attitude of the wife.  The position of the concubine was generally inferior to that of the wife. Although a concubine could produce heirs, her children would be inferior in social status to "legitimate" children. Allegedly, concubines were occasionally buried alive with their masters to "keep them company in the afterlife.

A European painting of an Emperor of China inspecting his fantasy fishing fleet with his concubines.
In ancient China, successful men often supported several concubines. For example, it has been documented that Chinese Emperors accommodated thousands of concubines.
A concubine’s treatment and situation were highly variable and were influenced by the social status of the male to whom she was engaged, as well as the attitude of the wife.
The position of the concubine was generally inferior to that of the wife. Although a concubine could produce heirs, her children would be inferior in social status to “legitimate” children. Allegedly, concubines were occasionally buried alive with their masters to “keep them company in the afterlife.

“Good for a man not to touch a woman” – Paul spoke strongly in favor of the married state and in 1 Tim 4:1-3 he taught that forbidding to marry would be a sign of the end-time apostasy.

Another possible again quoting a slogan of the Corinthians suggesting it was good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.  He refutes this idea in v. 2 by standing that sexual relations have their proper expression in marriage.

2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

“Fornication” – example: The temple to Aphrodite on the Acrocorinth, the rocky eminence above Corinth, at one time had in service 1,000 prostitute priestesses.

3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

“Render unto the wife due benevolence” – married couples should have normal sexual relations.  Permanent abstention deprives the other partner of his or her natural right and may be conducive to temptation.

4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

“Likewise” – both husband and wife have conjugal rights and exclusive possession of the other in this area.

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

“Defraud you not one the other” – of sexual fulfillment.

“Satan tempt you not for your incontinency” – the Christian deprived of normal sexual activity with his or her marriage partner may be tempted by Satan to sexual immorality.  The normal God-given sexual drive in the human being is strong.

The Temple of Aphrodite is located in ancient Aphrodisias about 70 miles east of Kusadasi and comprises one of the oldest groupings of archeological ruins in all of Turkey.  Although the once magnificent Temple of Aphrodite is now in ruins, the ruins themselves are quite breathtaking, rivaling those found at Knossos on the island of Crete and Ephesus, which is not far away.  It is possible to get here from both Izmir and Kusadasi using a number of buses and taxis, but guided tours are the most practical.

The Temple of Aphrodite is located in ancient Aphrodisias about 70 miles east of Kusadasi and comprises one of the oldest groupings of archeological ruins in all of Turkey.
Although the once magnificent Temple of Aphrodite is now in ruins, the ruins themselves are quite breathtaking, rivaling those found at Knossos on the island of Crete and Ephesus, which is not far away.
It is possible to get here from both Izmir and Kusadasi using a number of buses and taxis, but guided tours are the most practical.

6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

“Permission, and not of commandment” – although marriage is desirable and according to God’s plan, it was not mandatory under the difficult circumstances at Corinth.  In another situation (1 Tim 5:14) Paul urges that “the younger women marry.”

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

“I command, yet not I, but the Lord” – Paul is citing a command from the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry that married couples must stay together (Matt 5:32; Mk 10:2-12; Lk 16-18).  Paul probably heard such commands from other disciples or from Jesus Himself by a special revelation.

11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

“But if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled” – Paul argues that in the light of Christ’s command she or he is not to marry again.  Rather, the separated or divorced couple are to be reconciled.  Clearly the ideal is that marriage should not be permanently disrupted.

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

“Any brother hath a wife that believeth not” – the apostle is talking here about couples already married, when one of them becomes a Christian, if at all possible, they so0uld remain together, unless the unbeliever refuses to remain.

13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

“The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife” – the unbelieving partner is influenced by the godly life of the Christian partner; so that family is under the holy influence of the believer and in that sense is sanctified.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

Aphrodite Pudica (Roman copy of 2nd century A.D.), Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus. As with many ancient Greek deities, there is more than one story about her origins.  According to Hesiod's Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus's genitals and threw them into the sea, and she arose from the sea foam (aphros).  According to Homer's Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione.

Aphrodite Pudica (Roman copy of 2nd century A.D.),
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus.
As with many ancient Greek deities, there is more than one story about her origins.
According to Hesiod’s Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus’s genitals and threw them into the sea, and she arose from the sea foam (aphros).
According to Homer’s Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

18 Is any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.

“Circumcised…uncircumcised” – Jew…Gentile.  in the religious sphere, Christian Jews should not try to obliterate physically the fact that they are Jews, and Christian Gentiles should not yield to Jewish pressure for circumcision.

19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

21 Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

“If thou mayest be made free, use it rather” – if a Christian slave has an opportunity to get his freedom, he should take advantage of it. 

In the Roman empire slaves were sometimes freed by Roman patricians.  There is nothing wrong with seeking to improve your condition, but be content at every stage.

22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

“Bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men” – Christians in all stations of life should realize that their ultimate allegiance is not to men but to Christ, who bought them with His blood.

24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

“I give my judgment, as one…faithful” – Paul is not giving a direct command from Jesus here, but his own judgment. 

Even though he put it this way, he is certainly not denying that he wrote under the influence of divine inspiration.  And since he writes under inspiration what he recommends is clearly the better occurs of action.

26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, and that it is good for a man so to be.

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.

Acrocorinth, "Upper Corinth", the acropolis of ancient Corinth, is a monolithic rock overseeing the ancient city of Corinth, Greece.  "It is the most impressive of the acropoleis of mainland Greece," in the estimation of George Forrest.

Acrocorinth, “Upper Corinth”, the acropolis of ancient Corinth, is a monolithic rock overseeing the ancient city of Corinth, Greece.
“It is the most impressive of the acropoleis of mainland Greece,” in the estimation of George Forrest.

28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;

31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

“He behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin…pass the flower of her age…let them marry” – “Virgin” here means “daughter.”  In the light of hostility toward believers in Corinth, a man might refrain from giving his daughter in marriage. 

But if he then realizes that his daughter is getting beyond her prime marriageable age and the situation thus seems unfair to her, it is perfectly proper for him to give her in marriage.

37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.888-e

“Hath power over his own will…doeth well” – the man who determines that there is no need for him to give his daughter in marriage under the circumstances has made a good decision too.

38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

“Bound by the law as lo9ng as her husband liveth” – marriage is a lifelong union.

40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.


…how marriage has changed over centuries.


Roman Archaeologists Find Oldest Images of Apostles in a Catacomb and 1 Corinthians 6 – Lawsuits Among Brethren

September 18, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Roman Archaeologists Find
Oldest Images of Apostles in a Catacomb

Archaeologists and art restorers using new laser technology have discovered what they believe are the oldest paintings of the faces of Jesus Christ’s Apostles. 

ROME — The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under an eight-story modern office building in a working-class neighborhood of Rome, Vatican officials said Tuesday. The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew.  They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath.

ROME — The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under an eight-story modern office building in a working-class neighborhood of Rome, Vatican officials said Tuesday.
The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew.
They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath.

The images in a branch of the catacombs of St Tecla near St Paul’s Basilica, just outside the walls of ancient Rome, were painted at the end of the 4th century or the start of the 5th century.

Archaeologists believe these images may have been among those that most influenced later artists’ depictions of the faces of Christ’s most important early followers. 

“These are the first images that we know of the faces of these four Apostles,” said Professor Fabrizio Bisconti, the head of archaeology for Rome’s numerous catacombs, which are owned and maintained by the Vatican.

The full-face icons include visages of St Peter, St Andrew, and St John, who were among Jesus’ original 12 Apostles, and St. Paul, who became an Apostle after Christ’s death.

The paintings have the same characteristics as later images, such as St. Paul’s rugged, wrinkled and elongated forehead and balding head and pointy beard, indicating they may have been the ones which set the standard.???????????????

The four circles, about 50 cm in diameter, are on the ceiling of the underground burial place of a noblewoman who is believed to have converted to Christianity at the end of the same century when the emperor Constantine made it legal.

The tomb, in a web of catacombs under a modern building, is not yet open to the public because of continued work, difficult access and limited space. Bisconti said the new discoveries will be made available for viewing by specialists for the time being.


Tomorrow we will look at…

1 Corinthians 6
Lawsuits Among Brethren

1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints????????????????

“A matter against another” – Paul seems to be talking about various kinds of property court cases here, not criminal cases that should be handled by the state.

“Before the saints” – the Corinthians should take their property cases before qualified Christians for settlement. 

In Paul’s day the Romans allowed the Jews to apply their own law in property mattes, and since the Romans did not yet consider Christians as a separate class from the Jews, Christians no doubt had the same rights.

2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

“Are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” – Paul views believers as fully competent to judge cases where Christians have claims against each other because they view matters from a godly vantage point.

In comparison with their future role in the judgment of the world and of angels, judgments concerning things of this life are insignificant.

3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?

4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

Catacombs of St Tecla

Catacombs of St Tecla

6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

“Utterly a fault” – most likely by greed, retaliation and hatred, instead of practicing unselfishness, forgiveness and love – even willingness to suffer loss.

8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

“Fornicators” – Paul here identifies three kinds of sexually immoral persons: adulterers, male prostitutes and males who practice homosexuality.  In Rom 1:26 he adds the category of females who practice homosexuality.

People who engage in such practices, as well as the other offenders listed in vv. 9-10, are explicitly excluded from God’s kingdom (but see next note).

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.887-c

“Such were some of you” – God, however, does save and sanctify people like those described in vv. 9-10 if they repent, i.e., ask for forgiveness and stop committing the sin.

12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

“Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats” – Paul quotes some Corinthians again who were claiming that as the physical acts of eating and digesting food have no bearing on one’s inner spiritual life, so the physical act of promiscuous sexual activity does not affect one’s spiritual life.

“The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord” – Paul here declares the dignity of the human body: It is intended for the Lord.  Although granting that food and the stomach are transitory, Paul denies that what one does with his body is unimportant. 

This is particularly true of the use of sex, which the Lord has ordained in wedlock for the good of mankind.

14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

“God…raised up the Lord…also raise up us” – as an illustration of God’s high regard for the body, Paul cites the resurrection of Christ’s body and eventually, the believer’s body.  A body destined for resurrection should not be used for immorality.887-d

15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid.

“Members of Christ” – It is not merely the spirit that is a member of Christ’s body; it is the whole person, consisting of spirit and body.  This fact gives dignity to the human  body.

16 What? Know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

“One body” – in sexual relationship the two bodies become one and a new human being may emerge from the sexual union.  Sexual relations outside the marriage bond are a gross perversion of the divinely established marriage union.

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

“Every sin…without the body” – perhaps means that in a unique way, sexual immorality gratifies one’s physical body.  Paul may be quoting a Corinthian slogan which he refutes in the second half of the verse.Barack Obama

“But he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” – the body is a temple of the Holy Ghost; thus to use it in prostitution disgraces God’s temple.  Furthermore, the prostitutes of Corinth were dedicated to the service of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and sex.

19 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.


…marriage in Ancient Rome.


The Consequences of Sin and 1 Corinthians 5 – Judgment of the Immoral

September 17, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

The Consequences of Sin

Many people suffer because of the actions of others. Be it genocide, mass starvation, disease, greed, or pollution, there are real consequences to sinful actions.886-1

The various evils affecting our planet today such as, murder, robbery, theft, kidnapping, rape, deceit, or any other sin, all have devastating effects not only on the “sinner” but on society at large.

Greed and Dishonesty

Greed, as with other sins, is at the root of many of today’s ills. As an example, many people have become addicted to gambling and often lie to hide their habit from loved ones.

Even farmers and those involved in agriculture who supplies the foods we eat everyday have been known to abandon safe agricultural practices for quick money.

Many commercial farms feed their animals a high calorie grain instead of natural feed so animals can gain weight in the shortest time possible.

On top of that, sometimes parts of dead animals are added to animal feed to increase their growth while other commercial farms use growth hormones to fatten the animals quickly.  

No wonder maladies like Mad Cow Disease (BSE) have been linked to such practices.

There is another example of greed and dishonesty that hits a little closer to home. Each year, thousands of people cheat on their income tax returns as dishonesty becomes the acceptable norm in society.

Also, many western companies, in pursuit of cheap labor, exploit foreign employees abroad to increase their profit margins. Greed reigns in the marketplace.

Understanding gambling addiction and problem gambling Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling, is a type of impulse-control disorder.  Compulsive gamblers can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when they know their gambling is hurting themselves or their loved ones.  Gambling is all they can think about and all they want to do, no matter the consequences.  Compulsive gamblers keep gambling whether they’re up or down, broke or flush, happy or depressed. Even when they know the odds are against them, even when they can’t afford to lose, people with a gambling addiction can’t “stay off the bet.” Gamblers can have a problem, however, without being totally out of control. Problem gambling is any gambling behavior that disrupts your life.  If you’re preoccupied with gambling, spending more and more time and money on it, chasing losses, or gambling despite serious consequences, you have a gambling problem.

Understanding gambling addiction and problem gambling
Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling, is a type of impulse-control disorder.
Compulsive gamblers can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when they know their gambling is hurting themselves or their loved ones.
Gambling is all they can think about and all they want to do, no matter the consequences.
Compulsive gamblers keep gambling whether they’re up or down, broke or flush, happy or depressed. Even when they know the odds are against them, even when they can’t afford to lose, people with a gambling addiction can’t “stay off the bet.”
Gamblers can have a problem, however, without being totally out of control. Problem gambling is any gambling behavior that disrupts your life.
If you’re preoccupied with gambling, spending more and more time and money on it, chasing losses, or gambling despite serious consequences, you have a gambling problem.

For instance, nations in need are denied food and medicine, which are readily available elsewhere in the world because profit driven companies only want to provide for those who can pay for them.

Charity is often ignored for the sake of profit! Simply stated, by being so covetous, much of this world’s business violates God’s commandments about stealing, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Sexual Immorality

Consider the consequences of sexual immorality. Persons engaging in such activities put themselves at risk of contracting an STD. AIDS, for example, are taking a staggering toll on human life and are among the deadliest epidemics in modern history.

Sexual activity outside of marriage may also result in unwanted pregnancies. This in turn often leads to abortions. Many marriages are being destroyed because of adultery, which is unequivocally condemned by the word of God.

Sexual immorality has led to many single parent homes, causing many negative effects on children.

There are other costs, too. Many suffer emotional pain and live with tremendous regret because of illicit sex. Ultimately, these behaviors place an extra financial burden on health care systems.

Meanwhile, millions of dollars are spent on research, hoping to find a cure for STDs such as HIV/AIDS. Although HIV can be transmitted through non-sexual means, if there were no sexual sins, there would be no HIV/AIDS pandemic; transmission rates would be extremely low.

Thou Shalt Not Murder

No one can dispute the emotional pain that results from losing a loved one. In spite of this, our society is plagued with murder and violence. Wars throughout the world, for example, are taking lives at a staggering rate.

World War II alone claimed an estimated 62 million lives globally. The destruction of economies, disruption of food and medical supplies, and untold human suffering are all terrible consequences of war.

War generates countless hardships: women are beaten and raped, property is destroyed or lost, environmental damage occurs, and millions of refugees fleeing their homeland are all testaments to the tragedy of war and its toll throughout history.

Monetary Costs

Sin has a very high monetary cost. This is evident when considering the cost of crime within a city or nation. While it is impossible to calculate an exact financial figure for the pain and suffering resulting from sin, there are studies that attempt to estimate the monetary cost of crime.

A study released in 2004 by the Canadian Department of Justice entitled, The Cost of Pain and Suffering from Crime in Canada estimated that the cost of all crime occurring in 1999 in Canada was $35.8 billion CAD.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease (encephalopathy) in cattle that causes a spongy degeneration in the brain and spinal cord.  BSE has a long incubation period, about 30 months to 8 years, usually affecting adult cattle at a peak age onset of four to five years, all breeds being equally susceptible. In the United Kingdom, the country worst affected, more than 180,000 cattle have been infected and 4.4 million slaughtered during the eradication program. The disease may be most easily transmitted to human beings by eating food contaminated with the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected carcasses. However, it should also be noted that the infectious agent, although most highly concentrated in nervous tissue, can be found in virtually all tissues throughout the body, including blood. Humans can get chronic wasting Disease from consuming milk from cows infected with “Mad Cow” Prions.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease (encephalopathy) in cattle that causes a spongy degeneration in the brain and spinal cord.
BSE has a long incubation period, about 30 months to 8 years, usually affecting adult cattle at a peak age onset of four to five years, all breeds being equally susceptible.
In the United Kingdom, the country worst affected, more than 180,000 cattle have been infected and 4.4 million slaughtered during the eradication program.
The disease may be most easily transmitted to human beings by eating food contaminated with the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected carcasses.
However, it should also be noted that the infectious agent, although most highly concentrated in nervous tissue, can be found in virtually all tissues throughout the body, including blood.
Humans can get chronic wasting Disease from consuming milk from cows infected with “Mad Cow” Prions.

This number includes the offences of homicide, assault, sexual assault, robbery, property, and vandalism.

In the United States, a National Institute of Justice report, Victim Costs and Consequences: A New Look released in 1996 reported that the cost of personal crime for Americans including pain and suffering totaled $450 billion USD per year.

Undeniably, sin levies a high price on society that we all must bear.

The Real Costs

However, the real costs of sin cannot be reduced to a dollar amount because of the incalculable spiritual consequences. Mankind has pursued a way of life that is contrary to that which is revealed in the pages of the Bible.

Society’s way of life, anchored in a “get rather than give” mentality is paved with sin, focusing on concern for oneself rather than others. Sin produces a myriad of costly and detrimental effects on us and our environment.

 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Prov 14:12).

The end result of sin, if left unchecked, leads to suffering, pain, death, and eventually complete destruction. There is a way to live that leads to long lasting peace and happiness.

However, to achieve such results, like the city of Nineveh, we must collectively turn to the God of the Bible and repent of breaking His laws.

In today’s world, it seems unlikely an entire city or nation will turn to God and repent; but individually we can.

You can reject a life that leads to the tragic consequences of sin, and begin a new life in Christ, that leads to good health, peace, happiness, and prosperity (3 Jn 1:2).


The choice is yours!886-e

All of the above is true, but as the last paragraph states; it is very unlikely for an entire city or nation to repent.  If there is one country that will do that, it isn’t the United States; our country is slowly going downhill.

Tomorrow we’ll look at what some…

1 Corinthians 5
Judgment of the Immoral

1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.886-c

“Not…named amongst the Gentiles” – the Roman orator Cicero states that incest was practically unheard of in Roman society.

“His father’s wife” – who this expression was used rather than “his mother” suggests that the woman was his stepmother.  The Old Testament prohibited such sexual relations (Lev 18:8; Deut 27:20).

2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

“Puffed up” – evidently proud of their liberty – a distortion of grace.

3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together” – the Corinthians are to pass judgment on the man by the authority of the Lord Jesus, not by their own because man has no authority.

“The power of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Jesus’ power is present through His word and His Holy Spirit.  All people have the authority to judge another as long as they judge by the words of Jesus.

5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body's immune system cells.  AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV. HIV most often spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person. It may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person.  Women can give it to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body’s immune system cells.
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV.
HIV most often spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person. It may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person.
Women can give it to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth.

“Deliver such a one unto Satan” – abandon this sinful man to the devil that he may afflict the man as he pleases.  This abandonment to Satan was to be accomplished, not by some magical incantation, but by expelling the man from the church.

To expel him was to put him out in the devil’s territory, severed from any connection with God’s people.

“For the destruction of the flesh” – Satan is allowed to bring physical affliction on the man, which would bring him to repentance.

“The spirit may be saved” – the person put out of the church may well be a Christian.

6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

“A little leaven…the whole lump” – to illustrate Christian holiness and discipline, Paul alludes to the prohibition against the use of leaven (or yeast) in the bread eaten in the Passover feast (see Ex 12:15).

Leaven in Scripture usually symbolizes evil or sin called on to get rid of the leaven of sin because they are an unleavened batch of dough – new creations in Christ.

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

“Let us keep the feast” – keeping the feast of unleavened bread.  This symbolizes living the Christian life in holy dedication to God, not just a feast once a year, and not getting involved in such sins as malice and wickedness and incestuous relations.

9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:886-b

“I wrote unto you in an epistle” – Paul here clarifies a previous letter (one not preserved).  The Corinthians mistook that letter to mean that, on separating from sin, they should disassociate themselves from all immoral persons, including non-Christian people.

Instead, Paul meant that they should separate from immoral persons in the church who claimed to be Christian brothers.

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

“With such a one no not to eat” – calling oneself a Christian while continuing to live an immoral life is reprehensible and degrading, and gives a false testimony to Christ. 

If the true Christian has intimate association with someone who does this, the non-Christian world may assume that the church approves such immoral, ungodly living and thus the name of Christ would be dishonored. 

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within?

“Judge them that are within” – the church is to exercise spiritual discipline over the professing believers in the church, but it is not to attempt to judge the unsaved world.886-d

There are governing authorities to do that (Rom 13:1-5), and the ultimate judgment of the world is to be left to God (cf. Rev 20:11-15),

13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

To show the severity with which sin in the assembly must be treated Paul parallels this to the stonings of the Old Testament (Deut 13:5, 17:7, 12, 22:21, 24).


…Roman Archaeologists find the oldest images of Apostles in a Catacomb.


Tomb of Apostle Philip Found and 1 Corinthians 4 – Apostles of Christ

September 16, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Tomb of Apostle Philip Found

Amid the remains of a 4th or 5th century church at Hierapolis, one of the most significant Christian sites in Turkey, Francesco D’Andria found this 1st century Roman tomb that he believes once held the remains of the apostle Philip.

Amid the remains of a fourth or fifth century church at Hierapolis, one of the most significant Christian sites in Turkey, Francesco D’Andria found this first-century Roman tomb that he believes once held the remains of the apostle Philip.

Amid the remains of a fourth or fifth century church at Hierapolis, one of the most significant Christian sites in Turkey, Francesco D’Andria found this first-century Roman tomb that he believes once held the remains of the apostle Philip.

At about the same time as the July/August 2011 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review was hitting the newsstands, containing an article about St. Philip’s Martyrium, author and excavation director Francesco D’Andria was making an exciting new discovery in the field at Hierapolis, one of the most significant sites in Christian Turkey.

The tomb wasn’t discovered at the center of the octagonal hilltop martyrium as long expected, however, but in a newly excavated church about 40 yards away. D’Andria’s team found a 1st century Roman tomb located at the center of the new church, which he says originally contained Philip’s remains.

This early church of Christian Turkey was built around the tomb in the 4th or 5th century, and the nearby martyrium was built around the same time, in the early 5th century.

A team led by excavation director Francesco D’Andria in Hierapolis also uncovered the remains of Pluto’s Gate, a site considered an entrance into the underworld in the Greco-Roman period.

The remains of the apostle Philip are no longer in the tomb, however. According to D’Andria, the saint’s relics were very likely moved from Hierapolis to Constantinople at the end of the 6th century

This sixth-century bread stamp shows two churches from the site of Hierapolis in Christian Turkey: the domed martyrium on the right, and the newly-discovered church containing Philip’s tomb on the left.

This sixth-century bread stamp shows two churches from the site of Hierapolis in Christian Turkey: the domed martyrium on the right, and the newly-discovered church containing Philip’s tomb on the left.

And then possibly taken to Rome and placed in the newly dedicated Church of St. Philip and St. John (now the Church of the Holy Apostles), although 12th century reports describe seeing Philip’s remains still in Constantinople, the seat of Christian Turkey.

This new discovery also sheds light on the wonderful imagery of the rare 6th century bronze bread stamp from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The structures on either side of the saint can now be identified as the domed martyrium (on the right) and the new Byzantine basilical church containing the tomb of the apostle Philip (on the left), both of which were important Christian sites in Turkey.


It’s pretty clear that many of the Corinthians basically ignored God’s commands so tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Corinthians 4
Apostles of Christ

1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

THE MARTYRIUM OF ST. PHILIP The imposing remains of the martyrium constructed in the first half of the 5th century in memory of St. Philip can be seen on slightly higher ground just outside the city defence walls. The efforts of St. Philip resulted in the foundation here of one of the first Christian communities and one of the first Christian churches. After Philip's I crucifixion by the Romans in 80 his son continued the work of proselytism.  Although it would seem reasonable to assume that St. Philip was buried on the site of the ruins of this martyrium no trace has been found of his grave.  The martyrium itself is an octagonal structure on foundations measuring approximately 20 x 20 m.  Access to the martyrium is afforded by a monumental flight of steps leading up to the building on the side towards the city.

The Martyrium of St. Philip
The imposing remains of the martyrium constructed in the first half of the 5th century in memory of St. Philip can be seen on slightly higher ground just outside the city defence walls.
The efforts of St. Philip resulted in the foundation here of one of the first Christian communities and one of the first Christian churches. After Philip’s I crucifixion by the Romans in 80 his son continued the work of proselytism.
Although it would seem reasonable to assume that St. Philip was buried on the site of the ruins of this martyrium no trace has been found of his grave.
The martyrium itself is an octagonal structure on foundations measuring approximately 20 x 20 m.
Access to the martyrium is afforded by a monumental flight of steps leading up to the building on the side towards the city.

“Mysteries” – things that human wisdom cannot discover but that are now revealed by God to His people.

2 Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

“Judge not mine own self” – his judgment was merely human, and his conscience may be mistaken.  Only God is fully qualified to judge.

4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

“Learn in us not to think of men above that which is written” – perhaps a proverb common among the rabbis.

“Which is written” – in Scripture.  Our view of man should be Biblical.  We should recognize man’s weakness and ever-present limitations.

“Be puffed up” – one of the root causes of divisions, e.g., different religions, government and state laws, etc.

7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

Mythical ‘Gate to Hell’ uncovered in Turkey  Archaeologists reportedly have uncovered the cave believed to be Pluto’s Gate, the mythological portal to hell, in the ancient city of Hierapolis in southern Turkey. The site was located among ruins in the area, Italian archaeologists said, according to a report on Discovery.com. Hierapolis is now known as Pamukkale. Pluto’s Gate was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology. Pluto was the Greek god of the underworld.

Mythical ‘Gate to Hell’ uncovered in Turkey
Archaeologists reportedly have uncovered the cave believed to be Pluto’s Gate, the mythological portal to hell, in the ancient city of Hierapolis in southern Turkey.
The site was located among ruins in the area, Italian archaeologists said, according to a report on Discovery.com. Hierapolis is now known as Pamukkale.
Pluto’s Gate was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology. Pluto was the Greek god of the underworld.

Paul uses irony and sarcasm here to get the Corinthians to see how poor they are because of their haughtiness and spiritual immaturity in comparison with apostles. 

In the Corinthian epistles, Paul repeatedly uses a subtle form of irony (the use of a positive statement when a negative idea is intended).

9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised.

11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place;

4:11-13 – a graphic description of Paul’s condition in Ephesus right up to the writing.

12 And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

13 Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the off scouring of all things unto this day.

14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

Ttwo unique marble statues which once warned of a deadly cave in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, near Pamukkale. Known as Pluto's Gate -- Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin -- the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition.  "The statues represent two mythological creatures," D'Andria told Discovery News. "One depicts a snake, a clear symbol of the underworld, the other shows Kerberos, or Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of hell in the Greek mythology."

Ttwo unique marble statues which once warned of a deadly cave in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, near Pamukkale.
Known as Pluto’s Gate — Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin — the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition.
“The statues represent two mythological creatures,” D’Andria told Discovery News. “One depicts a snake, a clear symbol of the underworld, the other shows Kerberos, or Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of hell in the Greek mythology.”

18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.

“Some” – some of the Corinthians who were trying to undercut Paul’s authority were teaching that he was unstable (2 Cor 1:17) and that his ministry was not important (2 Cor 10:10)

19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.

20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

“Kingdom of God” – God’s present reign in the lives of His people – that dynamic new life in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), the power of the new birth (Jn 3:3-8), showing itself in humble life, dedicated to Christ and His church.

“Not in word, but in power” – idle, empty talk is contrasted with the genuine power of the Holy Ghost.

Idle talk, like you hear come out of Obama’s mouth.

21 What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?


…the Consequences of Sin.


Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh? and 1 Corinthians 3 – Fellow Laborers for God

September 15, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Why Did the Magi Bring
Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh?

Medicinal uses of frankincense may help explain the gifts of the magi.

Skopje  - Macedonian archaeologists have discovered 17 tombs dating from the 5th century B.C. in Ohrid, southwestern Macedonia, local media reported Monday. In one tomb, archaeologists found bones of a 15-year-old girl with a unique funeral mask made up of thin gold eye-covers, gold plate for the mouth and a plaque with an engraved sun placed on her chest. Precious metals have long been valued, treasured and used as a medium of exchange. Sometime around 650 B.C. coins made their first appearance, and they were used both in commerce and as a means of promotion or propaganda--a purpose they continue to serve today.

Skopje – Macedonian archaeologists have discovered 17 tombs dating from the 5th century B.C. in Ohrid, southwestern Macedonia, local media reported Monday.
In one tomb, archaeologists found bones of a 15-year-old girl with a unique funeral mask made up of thin gold eye-covers, gold plate for the mouth and a plaque with an engraved sun placed on her chest.
Precious metals have long been valued, treasured and used as a medium of exchange. Sometime around 650 B.C. coins made their first appearance, and they were used both in commerce and as a means of promotion or propaganda–a purpose they continue to serve today.

Were the gifts of the magi meant to save Jesus from the pain of arthritis? It’s possible, according to researchers at Cardiff University in Wales who have been studying the medical uses of frankincense.

Since the early days of Christianity, Biblical scholars and theologians have offered varying interpretations of the meaning and significance of the gold, frankincense and myrrh that the magi presented to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew (2:11).

These valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world: gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil.

In fact, these same three items were apparently among the gifts, recorded in ancient inscriptions that King Seleucus II Callinicus offered to the god Apollo at the temple in Miletus in 243 B.C.

 The Book of Isaiah, when describing Jerusalem’s glorious restoration, tells of nations and kings who will come and “bring gold and frankincense and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord” (Isaiah 60:6).

Although Matthew’s gospel does not include the names or number of the Magi, many believe that the number of the gifts is what led to the tradition of the Three Wise Men.

In addition to the honor and status implied by the value of the gifts of the magi, scholars think that these three were chosen for their special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and myrrh a prefiguring of his death and embalming—an interpretation made popular in the well-known Christmas carol “We Three Kings.”

The traditional gifts of the magi—gold, frankincense and myrrh—may have had symbolic as well as practical value. Researchers believe the medicinal uses of frankincense were known to the author of Matthew’s gospel.

Kingdom of Macedon King Phillip II (359-336 B.C.) NGC - AV Stater - Choice Mint State Star Absolutely phenomenal and extremely rare Gold Stater of the highest quality.  The overall look is simply phenomenal given it was issued over 2,300 years ago. Struck during the reign of Phillip II, the father of Alexander the Great, it is without question a museum quality antiquity.  Comprised of approximately ¼ ounce of pure Gold, the obverse features the head of Apollo and the reverse a charioteer with two intricately etched horses.  There is no question the artist who carved these dies was one of the finest of his time.

Kingdom of Macedon King Phillip II (359-336 B.C.) NGC – AV Stater – Choice Mint State Star
Absolutely phenomenal and extremely rare Gold Stater of the highest quality.
The overall look is simply phenomenal given it was issued over 2,300 years ago. Struck during the reign of Phillip II, the father of Alexander the Great, it is without question a museum quality antiquity.
Comprised of approximately ¼ ounce of pure Gold, the obverse features the head of Apollo and the reverse a charioteer with two intricately etched horses.
There is no question the artist who carved these dies was one of the finest of his time.

Still others have suggested that the gifts of the magi were a bit more practical—even medicinal in nature.

Researchers at Cardiff University have demonstrated that frankincense has an active ingredient that can help relieve arthritis by inhibiting the inflammation that breaks down cartilage tissue and causes arthritis pain.

The new study validates traditional uses of frankincense as an herbal remedy to treat arthritis in communities of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where the trees that produce this aromatic resin grow.

Did the Magi “from the East” know of frankincense’s healing properties when they presented it to young Jesus?


The opinion of the above article does not make sense to me, I mean, why bring arthritis medicine to a baby, but you never know. 884-j-1

I believe the gifts were brought to Jesus simply to show their respect and honor of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev 19:16).

Tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Corinthians 3Fellow Laborers for God

1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

Kingdom of Lydia El Third Stater struck from Electrum (610-546 B.C.) NGC - Choice About Uncirculated. This was the first coin struck with an obverse portrait produced for commerce, and it is remarkably preserved.  It is composed of a electrum, which is a mixture of Gold and Silver occurring in nature.  While crudely produced, the detail is extraordinary and it is hard to believe it was struck over 2,600 years ago.

Kingdom of Lydia El Third Stater struck from Electrum (610-546 B.C.) NGC – Choice About Uncirculated.
This was the first coin struck with an obverse portrait produced for commerce, and it is remarkably preserved.
It is composed of a electrum, which is a mixture of Gold and Silver occurring in nature.
While crudely produced, the detail is extraordinary and it is hard to believe it was struck over 2,600 years ago.

2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

“Walk as men” – like men of the world instead of men of God.  They were following merely human standards.

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

“I have planted” – Paul’s work was of a pioneer nature, preaching where no one had ever preached before.

“Apollos” – Apollos worked in the established church, edifying the converts Paul had won.

7 So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.

9 For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

“God’s husbandry” – the people are God’s farm.

Kingdom of Macedon; Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.) AV Distater NGC Choice  Extra Fine This Gold Distater, or double-stater, is one of the most remarkable coins in the Ancient world.  In fact, some refer to it as the “High Relief” of the Ancient coin world as it appears three dimensional due to an extraordinary level of craftsmanship and size.  Containing over a  half-ounce of pure Gold, the obverse features Athena the Goddess of War and Nike, the Goddess of Victory on the reverse.  This is the most impressive, notable and desirable coin issued during the reign of Alexander the Great and is highly prized today.

Kingdom of Macedon; Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.) AV Distater NGC Choice
Extra Fine
This Gold Distater, or double-stater, is one of the most remarkable coins in the Ancient world.
In fact, some refer to it as the “High Relief” of the Ancient coin world as it appears three dimensional due to an extraordinary level of craftsmanship and size.
Containing over a
half-ounce of pure Gold, the obverse features Athena the Goddess of War and Nike, the Goddess of Victory on the reverse.
This is the most impressive, notable and desirable coin issued during the reign of Alexander the Great and is highly prized today.

“God’s building” – they are also depicted as God’s temple.  He owns the farm and the building where both Paul and Apollos worked.

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

“I have laid the foundation” – by preaching Christ and Him crucified.

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

“Fire” – God’s judgment.  The work of some believers will stand the test while that of others will disappear – emphasizing the importance of teaching the pure word of God.

For example, those that preach the “complete” word of God and without any alterations will stand the test, and those that make alterations or leave parts out, such as the Catholics and Rick Warren, will not find their way to heaven.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

“Yet so as by fire’ – perhaps a Greek proverbial phrase, meaning “by a narrow escape,” with one’s work burned up by the fire of God’s pure justice and judgment.

The Incas referred to gold as the "tears of the Sun." Homer,in the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," makes mention of gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans.  In Genesis 2:10-12, we learn of the river Pison out of Eden, and "the land of Havilah, where there is gold: and the gold of that land is good?" As far back as 3100 B.C., we have evidence of a gold/silver value ratio in the code of Menes, the founder of the first Egyptian dynasty.  In this code it is stated that "one part of gold is equal to two and one half parts of silver in value."  This is our earliest of a value relationship between gold and silver. In ancient Egypt, around the time of Seti I (1320 B.C.), we find the creation of the first gold treasure map now known to us.  Today, in the Turin Museum is a papyrus and fragments known as the "Carte des mines d'or." It pictures gold mines, miners' quarters, road leading to the mines and gold-bearing mountains, and so on.

The Incas referred to gold as the “tears of the Sun.”
Homer,in the “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” makes mention of gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans.
In Genesis 2:10-12, we learn of the river Pison out of Eden, and “the land of Havilah, where there is gold: and the gold of that land is good?”
As far back as 3100 B.C., we have evidence of a gold/silver value ratio in the code of Menes, the founder of the first Egyptian dynasty.
In this code it is stated that “one part of gold is equal to two and one half parts of silver in value.”
This is our earliest of a value relationship between gold and silver.
In ancient Egypt, around the time of Seti I (1320 B.C.), we find the creation of the first gold treasure map now known to us.
Today, in the Turin Museum is a papyrus and fragments known as the “Carte des mines d’or.” It pictures gold mines, miners’ quarters, road leading to the mines and gold-bearing mountains, and so on.

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

“Temple of God” – God’s church.  Paul does not mean here that each of his readers is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  He says, “Ye (plural) are God’s temple (singular).”  In 6:19 he speaks of each Christian as a temple of the Holy Ghost.

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

“Him shall God destroy” – Strong language, indicating that such a foolish laborer is not one of the Lord’s true servants.  This is in contrast to the thought of v. 15, where the faulty Christian worker is saved, but his work is destroyed (he suffers loss of reward). 

In the contrast of chapters 1-4 Paul here refers to people who tear the local church apart by factions and quarrels.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.


…the tomb of Apostle Philip found.


The City of Corinth When Paul Was There and 1 Corinthians 2 – True Wisdom the Gift of God

September 14, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

The City of Corinth When Paul Was There

When Paul arrived in 51 CE, the Corinth he saw was little more than 100 years old, but was five times as large as Athens and the capital of the province.

Roman imperial ruins: the spring of Peirene.  The arched openings led to bowls carved in the rock where water collected.

Roman imperial ruins: the spring of Peirene.
The arched openings led to bowls carved in the rock where water collected.

Ancient Corinth, the original Corinth, founded in the 10th Century B.C., had been the richest port and the largest city in ancient Greece.

Strategically located guarding the narrow isthmus that connects the Peloponnesus (as southern Greece is called) to the mainland, it was a powerful commercial center near two seaports only 4 miles apart.

Lechaeum, the western harbor in the Corinthian Gulf was the trading port to Italy and Sicily, and Cenchreae, the eastern harbor in the Saronic Gulf, was the port for the eastern Mediterranean countries.

Periander (ca. 625-585 BCE) had constructed a five foot wide rock-cut tract (Gk. diolkos) for wheeling small ships and their unloaded cargo from one gulf to the other.

By 400 B.C., a double wall ran from the city to Lechaeum to protect a two mile rock paved street, about 40 feet wide, leading to the port.

When Rome demanded the dissolution of the Achaian League, Corinth, the leader, resisted and so Lucius Mummius, the Roman consul, leveled the city in 146 B.C., killed the men and sold the women and children into slavery. Some of the wealthier families escaped to the island of Delos.

For the next 100 years, only a handful of squatters occupied the site. Julius Caesar refounded the city as a colony in 44 B.C., named it Colonia Laus Julia Corinthiensis and populated it with conscripted Italian, Greek, Syrian, Egyptian and Judean freed slaves. New Corinth, as Ancient Corinth, thrived.

The Acrocorinth, the acropolis of the ancient city, was heavily fortified during the Middle Ages. Nothing is left of the fabled temple to Aphrodite, but remains of the medieval fortifications, which were built on earlier foundations, may still be seen from the western side.

The Acrocorinth, the acropolis of the ancient city, was heavily fortified during the Middle Ages. Nothing is left of the fabled temple to Aphrodite, but remains of the medieval fortifications, which were built on earlier foundations, may still be seen from the western side.

“Within just a few years, new Corinth’s settlers’ enormously profitable commerce at this crossroads of the nations had brought thousands more eager settlers from all over the Mediterranean and enormous personal wealth to a local ruling class of self-made women and men.” [Horsley and Silberman, The Message and the Kingdom, p. 163].

The wealthy Greek families who had fled to Delos also returned.

Commentators usually assume that Corinth was an especially licentious city, a reputation it seems to have had in ancient times. Indeed, one of the Greek verbs for fornicate was korinthiazomai, a word derived from the city’s name.

Apparently this estimation was based on Strabo’s report of 1,000 sacred prostitutes in the temple of Aphrodite on the Acrocorinth, an 1886-foot hill that rises above the city to the south.

Recent scholars point out, however, that the charge was more likely an Athenian slander against the pre-146 B.C. city since sacred prostitution was a Middle East custom, not a Greek one.

Little remains of the ancient city of Corinth.

Little remains of the ancient city of Corinth.

No doubt Corinth, like other large port cities, had plenty of prostitutes to service the sailors, but they were not sacred.

Paul Settles Down

It’s easy to see why Paul chose Corinth as headquarters for his mission to the west.

The city was young, dynamic, and not hidebound by tradition, a mix of dislocated individuals without strong ethnic identities seeking to shed their former low status by achieving social honor and material success.

Paul was not intimidated by a big, bustling, cosmopolitan hub city, with no dominant religious or intellectual tradition, for Corinth shared many characteristics with Tarsus, his home town, and Syrian Antioch, his home church city.

The heart of the city, the forum, was filled with temples and shrines to the emperor and various members of his family, built alongside temples to the older Greek gods such as Apollo.

These ruined arches and entryways to shops on what was once the agora call on the tourist's imagination to see the gleaming buildings, complete with statuary, they once were.

These ruined arches and entryways to shops on what was once the agora call on the tourist’s imagination to see the gleaming buildings, complete with statuary, they once were.

Apollo’s son, Asklepios, the god of healing, had a shrine there as well as at Epidaurus, the ancient site of miracle healings, about 50 miles southeast.

Luke’s account of Paul’s stay in Corinth is found in Acts 18:1-18. According to the story, after some initial success in the synagogue, but with considerable conflict, he decides to concentrate on the non-Jews, apparently with significant success.

He settles in and stays for 18 months, working as a tentmaker and living with fellow tentmakers, Aquila and his wife Pricilla (Prisca in his letters), two of the Jews expelled from Rome by Emperor Claudius in a general expulsion.

His success may have led to his being dragged before Gallio, the Roman proconsul, by the local Jews for heresy. Gallio dismisses the charge as a purely intra-Jewish affair.

Soon afterwards Paul leaves, accompanied by Aquila and Pricilla, bound for Antioch, but on the way they stop over in Ephesus.

Changes

Today, the Corinth Canal had been cut through the isthmus since Paul crossed over. Even Periander had envisioned the canal, but lacking the technology, he settled for the marble tramway.

At the time, it was also thought that Poseidon, god of the sea, opposed joining the Aegean and the Adriatic.

Temple of Apollo, Ancient Corinth.

Temple of Apollo, Ancient Corinth.

Others dreamed of constructing the canal, including Julius Caesar, because it saved 200 miles of sailing around the Peloponnesus, but it was Nero who actually attempted it in 66 CE.

Included in his workforce were 6,000 young Jewish slaves recently captured by Vespasian in Galilee, where the Jewish war had begun.

His attempt was soon abandoned on the belief that if the seas where connected, the more northerly Adriatic, mistakenly thought to be higher, would flood the more southern Aegean.

A French company, which began the work in 1881 where Nero’s crew had stopped, completed the canal in 1893.

What finally killed ancient Corinth was the earthquakes, but it has been extensively excavated.

The museum contains many intriguing artifacts found there, e.g., a room of items used in healing ceremonies and a room of sculptures, including the beautiful Corinth sphinx and a portrait of the young Nero.


Today, as well as through out the history of time, valuable gifts were usually only given to important people, such as kings and queens.  They certainly weren’t given to children, let alone babies.

Yet, Jesus, even as a baby was a king so tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Corinthians 2
True Wisdom the Gift of God

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

The Corinth Canal, carrying ship traffic between the western Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, is about 2.5 miles east of the city, cutting through the Isthmus of Corinth that connects the Peloponnesian peninsula to the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former an island.  The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 4.0 miles in length and only 70 feet wide at its base, making it impassable for most modern ships.  It now has little economic importance. The canal was mooted in classical times and an abortive effort was made to build it in the 1st century A.D.  Construction finally got underway in 1881 but was hampered by geological and financial problems that bankrupted the original builders. It was completed in 1893, but due to the canal's narrowness, navigational problems and periodic closures to repair landslips from its steep walls, it failed to attract the level of traffic anticipated by its operators.  It is now used mainly for tourist traffic.

The Corinth Canal, carrying ship traffic between the western Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, is about 2.5 miles east of the city, cutting through the Isthmus of Corinth that connects the Peloponnesian peninsula to the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former an island.
The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 4.0 miles in length and only 70 feet wide at its base, making it impassable for most modern ships.
It now has little economic importance.
The canal was mooted in classical times and an abortive effort was made to build it in the 1st century A.D.
Construction finally got underway in 1881 but was hampered by geological and financial problems that bankrupted the original builders. It was completed in 1893, but due to the canal’s narrowness, navigational problems and periodic closures to repair landslips from its steep walls, it failed to attract the level of traffic anticipated by its operators.
It is now used mainly for tourist traffic.

“When I came to you” – on his initial trip to Corinth 51 A.D.

“With excellency of speech or of wisdom” – perhaps Apollos had influenced the Corinthians in such a way that they were placing undue emphasis on eloquence and intellectual ability.

2 For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

“Not to know anything…save Jesus Christ” – Paul resolved to make Christ the sole subject of his teaching and preaching while he was with them.

3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

“Not with enticing words of man’s wisdom” – this does not give preachers a license to neglect study and preparation.  Paul’s letters reveal a great deal of knowledge in many areas of learning and his eloquence is apparent in his address before the Areopagus.

Paul’s point is that unless the Holy Spirit works in a listener’s heart, the wisdom and eloquence of a preacher are ineffective.  Paul’s confidence as a preacher did not rest on intellectual and oratorical ability, as did that of the Greek orators.

“Demonstration” – the Greek word is used of producing proofs in an argument in court.  Paul’s preaching was marked by the convincing demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit.

5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

“Perfect” – wise, developed Christians; contrast the “babes” mentioned in 3:1 (see Heb 5:13-6:3).

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Corinth is a major road hub. The A7 toll motorway for Tripoli and Kalamata, (and Sparta via A71 toll), branches off the A8/European route E94 toll motorway from Athens at Corinth.  Corinth is the main entry point to the Peloponnesian peninsula, the southernmost area of continental Greece.

Corinth is a major road hub. The A7 toll motorway for Tripoli and Kalamata, (and Sparta via A71 toll), branches off the A8/European route E94 toll motorway from Athens at Corinth.
Corinth is the main entry point to the Peloponnesian peninsula, the southernmost area of continental Greece.

“Mystery” – the mystery, or secret, was once hidden but is now known because God has revealed it to His people.  To unbelievers it is still hidden.

“Unto out glory” – God’s wisdom will cause every believer to share eventually in Christ’s glory.

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

“Princes of the world” – rulers of this age, such as the chief priests, Pilate and Herod Antipas, and the politicians, the Pope and certain evangelists of this age.

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

“Spirit searcheth all things” not in order to know them, for He knows all things.  Instead He comprehends the depth of God’s nature and His plans of grace; so He is fully competent to make the revelation claimed here.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

The city has been connected to the Proastiakos, the Athens suburban rail network, since 2005, when the new Corinth railway station was completed.

The city has been connected to the Proastiakos, the Athens suburban rail network, since 2005, when the new Corinth railway station was completed.

“Spirit of the world” – the spirit of human wisdom as alienated from God – the attitude of the sinful nature.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

“Which the Holy Ghost teacheth” – the message Paul proclaimed was expressed in words given by the Holy Spirit.  Thus spiritual truth was aptly combined with fitting spiritual words.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

2:14-3:4 – this passage explains why many fail to apprehend true wisdom.  It is because such wisdom is perceived by the spiritual (mature) Christian.  The Corinthians, however, were worldly (infant) believers and the proof of the immaturity was their division over human leaders.

The city was largely destroyed in the earthquakes of 365 and 375, followed by Alaric's invasion in 396.  The city was rebuilt after these disasters on a monumental scale, but covered a much smaller area than previously.  Four churches were located in the city proper, another on the citadel of the Acrocorinth, and a monumental basilica at the port of Lechaion.

The city was largely destroyed in the earthquakes of 365 and 375, followed by Alaric’s invasion in 396.
The city was rebuilt after these disasters on a monumental scale, but covered a much smaller area than previously.
Four churches were located in the city proper, another on the citadel of the Acrocorinth, and a monumental basilica at the port of Lechaion.

“Natural man” – described in Jude 19 as one who is “sensual”.  The non-Christian is basically dominated by the merely physical, worldly or natural life.  Because he does not possess the Holy Spirit, he is not equipped to receive appreciatively truth that comes from the Spirit.  Such a person needs the new birth (Jn 3:1-8; Tit 3:5-6).

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

“Is judged of no man” – one who does not have the Spirit is not qualified to judge the spiritual person.  Thus believers ware not rightfully subject to the opinions of unbelievers.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.


…why the Magi brought gifts to baby Jesus.


The Lost Cities of South Asia & the Far East: Angkor (3 of 4) & 1 Corinthians 1 – Paul’s Thanksgiving

September 13, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
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882-0

The Lost Cities of South Asia and
the Far East: Angkor

Location: Cambodia
Date Of Construction: 802 C.E.
Abandoned: Largely Abandoned by 1431 C.E.
Built By: Khmer Empire
Key Features: Angkor Wat; Angkor Thom; Bayon Temple; Baray (Reservoirs); Lack of Non-Sacred Buildings

The great legacy of the Khmer Empire and arguably the greatest religious complex of all time, the city of Angkor is a remarkable collection of temples and canals, buried under thick jungle when it was first encountered by European explorers.

Recent hi-tech investigations have revealed its full, colossal extent and provided valuable clues about the self-inflicted environmental problems that may have caused its demise, but the authorities seem powerless to prevent the continual degradation of the ancient treasure by looters.

Angkor is a Khmer word derived from the Sanskrit term for “holy city”. It was the capital and religious center of the Khmer Empire, a state that flourished in Indochina from the 9th to the 15th centuries CE.

Bas relief from Angkor Wat showing dancing asparas — female spirits or divinities also known as sky-dancers or celestial dancers. Overleaf: The colossal temple of Angkor Wat, viewed from across the wide moat that surrounds it. The moat symbolized the oceans, and the towers the peaks of sacred Mount Meru.

Bas relief from Angkor Wat showing dancing asparas — female spirits or divinities also known as sky-dancers or celestial dancers.
Overleaf: The colossal temple of Angkor Wat, viewed from across the wide moat that surrounds it. The moat symbolized the oceans, and the towers the peaks of sacred Mount Meru.

West of the Mekong River, near Tonle Sap – the largest lake in Indochina – on a wide, low-lying plain in the center of modern-day Cambodia, Angkor grew over the centuries into the largest – in geographical terms – pre-industrial city in history, with a population that may have numbered as many as a million.

But to the modern visitor there is little that resembles a city; instead there is a collection of temples and water features widely scattered around a scrubby plain interrupted by patches of thick jungle.

How could this strange landscape have supported such a vast population and what could have motivated the construction of such a profusion of religious architecture?

Seat of the Khmer God-kings

The region of Indochina known today as Cambodia was a collection of small states known to its northern neighbors, the Chinese, as Zhenia.

At the start of the 9th century CE the Khmer king Jayavarman II, ruler of Kambuja, united the fragmented principalities of the region and extended his sway over most of Indochina.

In 802 CE he declared himself to be devajara, meaning ‘royal god’ – effectively labelling himself as ‘god-king’ and establishing the royal personality cult as the central strategy by which the monarchy legitimized its rule – a strategy that was to lead to the incredible sacred architecture of Angkor.

In 889 CE Yasovarman I moved the capital of the Khmer Empire to Angkor and set about transforming it into a sacred landscape: a replica of heaven on Earth.

In the mythology of Hinduism, the state religion of the Khmers, the center of heaven was Mount Meru, the abode of the gods, which was surrounded by the oceans.

On Phnom Bakheng, the only natural hill in the area, Yasovarman built a pyramidal temple, symbolizing and recreating Mount Meru.

Within the temple a sacred stone, or lingam, represented Shiva, one of the supreme Hindu gods but also the Khmer god-king.

Angkor is a region of Cambodia that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries.  The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit nagara (नगर), meaning "city". The Angkorian period began in AD 802, when the Khmer Hindu monarch Jayavarman II declared himself a "universal monarch" and "god-king", and lasted until the late 14th century, first falling under Ayutthayan suzerainty in 1351.  A Khmer rebellion resulted in the 1431 sacking of Angkor by Ayutthaya, causing its population to migrate south to Longvek.

Angkor is a region of Cambodia that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries.
The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit nagara (नगर), meaning “city”.
The Angkorian period began in AD 802, when the Khmer Hindu monarch Jayavarman II declared himself a “universal monarch” and “god-king”, and lasted until the late 14th century, first falling under Ayutthayan suzerainty in 1351.
A Khmer rebellion resulted in the 1431 sacking of Angkor by Ayutthaya, causing its population to migrate south to Longvek.

Thus the Khmer god-kings gave physical expression to their divine right to rule, legitimizing their authority through the very fabric of their capital.

To complete the early reconstruction of the cosmology, the temple at Phnom Bakheng was surrounded by a most, to represent the oceans, and this was fed from the first of two huge reservoirs, or baray, constructed at the site.

The Eastern Baray at Angkor is 5 x 1 miles in area and held up to 48, 400,000 cubic yards of water; the Western Baray is even larger. 

They were the largest manifestation of the massive and complex system of irrigation channels, canals, moats, and ponds – over a thousand of them – that underpinned life in Angkor.

With the network of water-management features the Khmer were able to tame the annual flooding of Tonle Sap, irrigating their rice paddies and making their agriculture highly productive.

A 13th century Chinese visitor to Angkor recorded that they could produce three or four crops of rice a year, making it possible to support a huge population spread across a vast urban sprawl.

Between 1992 and 2007, researchers using satellites, NASA radar imagery, light aircraft and more down-to-earth technology such as scooters, were able to show that at its height Angkor had covered 386 square miles, making it the largest pre-industrial city in history.

The next biggest rival, the Mayan City of Tikal was more than an order of magnitude smaller at 38½ to 58 square miles.

Angkor’s glory years came in the 11th to 13th centuries.  Under King Suryavarman I (reigned 1011-1050), the imperial palace-city of Angkor Wat, the most famous and the greatest of the temples at Angkor, intended as his mausoleum. 

According to an inscription in the temple, Suryavarman II won the throne after slaying a rival prince in battle, leaping onto his war-elephant and engaging him in single combat.

Like the earlier temples, Angkor Wat with its five towers was a version of the sacred Mount Meru, which according to the myth had five peaks.

The greatest of the Khmer kings and the last great builder at Angkor was Jayavarman VII (reigned 11 SI- 1220), who refurbished Angkor Thom, built temples to his parents, and, on adopting Mahayana Buddhism as his personal faith, constructed the Buddhist temple of Bayon in the heart of Angkor Thom.

It is famous for the giant faces peering out from its towers, representing King Jayavarman VII as the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara: thus the king contrived to maintain and even enhance the cult of royal personality despite the change in religion.

The Record of Zhou Daguan

In 1296 a Chinese diplomat, Zhou Daguan, visited Kambuja and wrote an account of life in Angkor, A Record of the Customs of Cambodia, which provides an invaluable record of the medieval kingdom.

Dinosaurs in ancient Cambodian temple. The magnificent jungle temples of Cambodia were produced by the Khmer civilization, beginning as early as the eighth and extending through the fourteenth century A.D.  One of, if not the greatest monarchs and monument builders of this empire was Jayavarman VII, crowned supreme king in 1181. Portrait statues, depicting him meditating in the fashion of Buddha, have been found throughout the region. These awesome temples were rediscovered by Portuguese adventurers and Catholic missionaries in the 16th century and many were restored in 19th and 20th centuries. Ta Prohm, one of the most picturesque, was left in it's natural state. It recently gained international attention as the setting for the first Laura Croft movie.

Dinosaurs in ancient Cambodian temple.
The magnificent jungle temples of Cambodia were produced by the Khmer civilization, beginning as early as the eighth and extending through the fourteenth century A.D.
One of, if not the greatest monarchs and monument builders of this empire was Jayavarman VII, crowned supreme king in 1181. Portrait statues, depicting him meditating in the fashion of Buddha, have been found throughout the region.
These awesome temples were rediscovered by Portuguese adventurers and Catholic missionaries in the 16th century and many were restored in 19th and 20th centuries.
Ta Prohm, one of the most picturesque, was left in it’s natural state. It recently gained international attention as the setting for the first Laura Croft movie.

He described the main temples and also depicted a society governed both by pervasive religious devotion and the strict and oppressive hierarchies that fed off that devotion to maintain their status and prerogatives.

The elite emphasized the importance of subordination and owned hundreds of slaves who were often treated very poorly.

Yet in some ways life in Kambuja was easier than in China, with the result that there was a significant population of Chinese ex-pats who had fled their homeland.

The first thing that such a new arrival had to do, Zhou Daguan reported, was obtain a wife, because trade was an exclusively female preserve.

He also described the typical domestic set-up, offering a valuable clue to the mystery of why, beyond infrastructure such as canals and bridges, there seems to be little trace of the non-religious aspect of this heavily populated city.

The typical Kambujan home was apparently devoid of furniture and many of the implements and utensils they used were ‘disposable’ – for instance, ‘they use a tree leaf to make a little bowl and jiao leaves to make a little spoon to take the broth to their mouths.

When they have finished using these things they throw them away/ (Similar bowls are still used in parts of Cambodia today.)

Applied on a larger scale, this principle of using natural materials might explain why only the religious monuments are left.

Building in stone was reserved for the residences of the gods; apart from infrastructure, secular buildings, apparently up to and including royal palaces, were made from timber or even more perishable materials, which did not long survive the abandonment of the city thanks to the tropical climate.

The Loss and Rediscovery of Angkor

After Jayavarman VITs death there was a brief return to Hinduism, which saw widespread defacing and desecration of Buddhist imagery, but eventually Buddhism was established as the state religion of the Khmers and many of the temples were converted to Buddhist shrines.

One of the animals enclosed in these circles is a stegosaurus.

One of the animals enclosed in these circles is a stegosaurus.

But there was also a general decline in the Khmer Empire (see below) and from the late 13th century it was threatened by the growing power of the Thai (or Siamese) kingdom to the west.

According to the popular history of the site, the end of Angkor came in 1431, when the Thai invaded the western provinces of Kambuja and sacked the city, at which point the Khmer fled to the new Khmer capital near Phnom Penh, taking their treasures with them.

In practice, historians have largely discredited this story, and substantial populations continued into the 16th century, possibly as lay support for communities of Buddhist monks based in the temples.

But the center of political gravity had shifted irrevocably and Angkor subsided until it was a shadow of its former glories.

By the 17th century, the population had diminished substantially, and in the tropical heat and humidity the jungle quickly reclaimed the site and the roots of fig trees and other plants wreaked considerable damage on the unmortar masonry, forcing blocks it arc threatening to bring the mighty temples low.

The extraordinary ruins of Angkor first became famous in Europe thanks to the writings and sketches of French explorer Henri Mahout, who visited the site in 1860.

His account vividly depicts the impact of coming upon the cyclopean ruins draped in verdant growth, a sight “which presents itself to the eye of the traveler, making him forget all the fatigues of his journey, filling him with admiration and delight, such as would be experienced on finding a verdant oasis in the sandy desert”.

In practice, however, Mahout was far from the first European to visit Angkor, which was reported by the Portuguese in 1550.

But it was his account that catapulted Angkor to fame as an archetypal lost city, although the wonder and awe it provoked was not limited to Europeans.

When Mahout asked the local people who had constructed such marvels they told him it had been built by gods or giants, while Siamese scribes, writing just two centuries after the fall of the Khmer empire recorded that it was said that “angels from heaven came to help in building this magnificent city”.

The Mysterious Decline

Since serious scholarship into Angkor began, and particular since the institution of the Ecole Francaise D’Extreme-Orient in 1898, there has been much debate over the causes of Angkor’s decline.

The idea that the carving may have been added recently is simply not possible for at least a half-dozen reasons. 1. Patina is still obvious in the recesses. 2. The depth of relief on the carvings that cover every square inch of this column, is more than half an inch. Removing the imagined "original" carving would have left a recessed surface. Then, carving the stegosaur on the recessed surface would require still deeper recesses. The above photograph clearly demonstrates that the carving is not recessed. It is flush with the other carvings. Since the plates on the back of the stegosaur protrude from the recessed background at least half an inch, it would not be possible to add them to the background by subsequent carving. The plates are an integral part of the rock surrounded by a recessed, patina covered background. 3. There is approximately 40 feet of overburden that would have been displaced in order to replace the entire block. 4. The blocks are held together, not with mortar, but with iron "staples" in the shape of a capital "I" typically about 8 inches long, 1.5 inches wide and 3/8 of an inch thick. An inset in the shape of the staple was carved into the surface of two adjoining blocks, across the abutment, one end in one block and the other end in the other. With the staple in the shaped recess, the next tier of blocks holds the staple in place. They are used horizontally and vertically. 5. It may sound presumptuous, but I am trained in petrology. (this is not me talking) I know rocks. If someone had altered this rock, years after the original carvings, I would see it immediately. It would also be obvious to other experts who have carefully examined this carving (documented below). I can tell you without the slightest doubt, this carving is not modern, it is contemporary with the other carvings of Ta Prohm. 6. It should also be mentioned that the mind-set in Cambodia is very different form ours. The people are still greatly intimidated by governmental authorities. The brutal execution millions for almost any excuse, is vivid in the memory of virtually all adults in this country. Some of the same government officials responsible for the slaughter of perhaps 1/4 of the population are still in power today in this communist dictatorship. Consider this in connection of the fact that dozens of federal police with AK 47's patrol the ruins day and night, daring anyone to deface or take "souvenirs." It is simply not credible to imagine pranksters, defacing and re-carving these "sacred" temples, which are still actively used today for Hindu and Buddhist idol worship.

The idea that the carving may have been added recently is simply not possible for at least a half-dozen reasons.
1. Patina is still obvious in the recesses.
2. The depth of relief on the carvings that cover every square inch of this column, is more than half an inch. Removing the imagined “original” carving would have left a recessed surface. Then, carving the stegosaur on the recessed surface would require still deeper recesses. The above photograph clearly demonstrates that the carving is not recessed. It is flush with the other carvings. Since the plates on the back of the stegosaur protrude from the recessed background at least half an inch, it would not be possible to add them to the background by subsequent carving. The plates are an integral part of the rock surrounded by a recessed, patina covered background.
3. There is approximately 40 feet of overburden that would have been displaced in order to replace the entire block.
4. The blocks are held together, not with mortar, but with iron “staples” in the shape of a capital “I” typically about 8 inches long, 1.5 inches wide and 3/8 of an inch thick. An inset in the shape of the staple was carved into the surface of two adjoining blocks, across the abutment, one end in one block and the other end in the other. With the staple in the shaped recess, the next tier of blocks holds the staple in place. They are used horizontally and vertically.
5. It may sound presumptuous, but I am trained in petrology. (this is not me talking) I know rocks. If someone had altered this rock, years after the original carvings, I would see it immediately. It would also be obvious to other experts who have carefully examined this carving (documented below). I can tell you without the slightest doubt, this carving is not modern, it is contemporary with the other carvings of Ta Prohm.
6. It should also be mentioned that the mind-set in Cambodia is very different form ours. The people are still greatly intimidated by governmental authorities. The brutal execution millions for almost any excuse, is vivid in the memory of virtually all adults in this country. Some of the same government officials responsible for the slaughter of perhaps 1/4 of the population are still in power today in this communist dictatorship. Consider this in connection of the fact that dozens of federal police with AK 47’s patrol the ruins day and night, daring anyone to deface or take “souvenirs.” It is simply not credible to imagine pranksters, defacing and re-carving these “sacred” temples, which are still actively used today for Hindu and Buddhist idol worship.

While accounts of the fatal Thai raid of 1431 may be inaccurate, it is generally accepted that Angkor was in terminal decline by the 15th century and there are competing theories abop0ut why.

One line of argument is that the Khmer regime was exhausted both by continual warfare with its neighbors and by the tremendous demands of the monumental labor that had created Angkor’s sacred landscape.

King Jayavarman VII, for instance, is renowned as the greatest of the Khmer kings, but for his subjects his mania for construction must have been incredibly taxing.

Towards the end of the Khmer era the state religion became Theravada Buddhism and George Coedes, perhaps the foremost scholar of Angkor, argues that this form of the religion, with its emphasis on the denial of the reality of the individual, was not compatible with the cult of royal personality.

Coedes argues that the combination of this with the military and economic exhaustion of the state resulted in an erosion of central authority, which in turn led to a breakdown of maintenance of the irrigation system, with knock-on effects for the agricultural basis of the city’s existence.

More recently the water-management system at Angkor has come in for closer scrutiny as the ultimate rather than merely proximate cause of the city’s decline.

The recent project to map the full extent of ancient Angkor has led to claims that the city’s vast urban sprawl became self-defeating.

Mass deforestation to meet the demands of the population and the constant construction projects led to soil erosion, while at the same time the water management system simply became too large for effective management.

The result was that the irrigation canals became clogged with silt and ceased to function.

Other theories about the city’s collapse include climate change, with archaeologists from the University of Sydney pointing to the transition from the medieval warm period to the Little Ice Age as the trigger for the city’s water crisis, and disease, with the suggestion that breakdown of the irrigation system led to stagnant water, which in turn led to an explosion of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Unfortunately the ancient city’s decline continues to this day. Initially the fabric of the city was at risk from the encroaching jungle, but now this threat has been replaced with a human one.

Ever since it was uncovered Angkor has attracted the attentions of looters and art thieves, and even today professional teams of looters openly survey parts of the site for statues, facades and reliefs they can rip out and sell on.

Rapidly increasing tourism at the site could also pose problems.


We’ve seen a lot of lost cities and each one of them was great.  I wonder if there are any cities that needed to be lost and buried, like Detroit for example.

Tomorrow we’ll look at…

Corinthians 1
Paul’s Thanksgiving

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia.  It is the world's 12th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,350 km (2,703 mi), and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi), discharging 457 km3 (110 cu mi) of water annually. From the Tibetan Plateau this river runs through China's Yunnan province, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.  In 1995, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam established the Mekong River Commission to assist in the management and coordinated use of the Mekong's resources. In 1996 China and Burma (Myanmar) became "dialogue partners" of the MRC and the six countries now work together within a cooperative framework.

The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia.
It is the world’s 12th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,350 km (2,703 mi), and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi), discharging 457 km3 (110 cu mi) of water annually.
From the Tibetan Plateau this river runs through China’s Yunnan province, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
In 1995, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam established the Mekong River Commission to assist in the management and coordinated use of the Mekong’s resources. In 1996 China and Burma (Myanmar) became “dialogue partners” of the MRC and the six countries now work together within a cooperative framework.

3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

5 That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

“Apollos” – he had carried a fruitful ministry in Corinth.

“Cephas” – Peter.  It has been suggested that those who followed Peter in Corinth were Jewish Christians.

13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Giant Catfish from the MeKong river. The Mekong River is still a relatively healthy, natural, free-flowing river.  It is one of the most biodiverse rivers on Earth (in terms of freshwater fish). Most of its habitats and connections between habitats are still intact. Remarkably, the Mekong is still capable of producing 2.6 million tons of fish a year, despite fishing pressures from millions of people who depend on the river for sustenance.  That makes it the most productive river in the world.

Giant Catfish from the MeKong river.
The Mekong River is still a relatively healthy, natural, free-flowing river.
It is one of the most biodiverse rivers on Earth (in terms of freshwater fish). Most of its habitats and connections between habitats are still intact. Remarkably, the Mekong is still capable of producing 2.6 million tons of fish a year, despite fishing pressures from millions of people who depend on the river for sustenance.
That makes it the most productive river in the world.

“Not to baptize” – Paul is not minimizing baptism; rather, he is asserting that his God-given task was primarily to preach.  Jesus and Peter also had others baptize for them.

“Wisdom of words” – Paul’s mission was not to couch the gospel in the language of the trained orator, who had studied the techniques of influencing people by persuasive arguments.

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

The quotation is from Is 29:14, where God denounced the policy of the “wise” in Judah in seeking an alliance with Egypt when threatened by King Sennacherib of Assyria.

“The wise” – Aristides said that on every street in Corinth one met a so-called wise man who had his own solutions to the world’s problems.

They’re still here, but no longer on the street corners.  These lunatics are now online and cover the globe or they are in politics.  If you don’t believe me take a look at the White House.

20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

“Wisdom…foolishness” – Jesus expresses a similar thought in Lk 10:21.  It is God’s intention that worldly wisdom should not be the means of knowing Him.

“Foolish preaching” – not that preaching is foolish, but that the message being preached (Christ crucified) is viewed by the world as foolish and that is because the majority of the world are fools.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

In about 750 CE, the Mayan city of Tikal  had a population of more than 60,000 souls.  During its peak, archaeologists believe that the city center spanned almost six square miles, and further research tells us that Tikal’s population may have spread outwards from the center for at least 47 square miles. The city remained a secret for more than a thousand years; Spanish conquistadores passed within a few miles of Tikal on their rapacious journey through the area, but never learned of its existence.  In 1848, the Guatemalan government made the first official expedition and report on the city; it was declared a National Park in 1995.  Today, modern Mayans celebrate their ancestors with pilgrimages to Tikal, which hosts more than 100,000 Guatemalan visitors each year.

In about 750 CE, the Mayan city of Tikal had a population of more than 60,000 souls.
During its peak, archaeologists believe that the city center spanned almost six square miles, and further research tells us that Tikal’s population may have spread outwards from the center for at least 47 square miles.
The city remained a secret for more than a thousand years; Spanish conquistadores passed within a few miles of Tikal on their rapacious journey through the area, but never learned of its existence.
In 1848, the Guatemalan government made the first official expedition and report on the city; it was declared a National Park in 1995.
Today, modern Mayans celebrate their ancestors with pilgrimages to Tikal, which hosts more than 100,000 Guatemalan visitors each year.

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

1:26-31 – the Corinthian Christians themselves were living proof that salvation does not depend on anything in man, so that when someone is saved, he must glory in the Lord.

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.


…the City of Corinth when Paul was there.


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