The Library of Alexandria
The library has become a legendary place, famed for being almost an order of magnitude larger than any other ancient library, while its destruction has become the archetype of cultural vandalism, described as ‘the day that history lost its memory’.
In Alexandria, Egypt, was a library, which was both a collection of nearly a million scrolls on science and philosophy from all over the known world, and a university where scholars conducted research and classes.
Kom El Dikka – Ruins of the Library at Alexandria
The ruins of Kom el Dikka are a complex of rooms and auditoria, part of the Library at Alexandria’s university campus in Egypt.
The archaeological remnants of this university, built for Alexander in the 4th century BC, are still to be seen in Alexandria today: and the intellectual remnants of the library are arguably the foundations of today’s Internet.
It was said to host more than 500,000 books, a vast collection built up by Ptolemaic edicts requiring every visitor to Alexandria to surrender any scrolls in their possession for copying, by the wholesale larceny of the library of Athens and by the annexation of the collection of the rival library at Pergamum (transferred to Alexandria as a gift to Cleopatra by her lover Mark Anthony).
In practice, however, the Great Library’s size has probably been exaggerated – a building that could hold this many books would have needed some 25 miles of shelving, but there is no hint in historical descriptions of Alexandria of a building colossal enough to host this, but then again, who knows but God.
Comparison with other ancient libraries, in conjunction with other clues, suggests a more realistic figure in the tens rather than hundreds of thousands.
An additional source of confusion is that the Great Library is something of a misnomer, for in addition to the Royal Library there was a ‘daughter’ library at the Serapeum and possibly others in the city.
The destruction of the library has also become shrouded in legend. Several culprits are blamed. Julius Caesar accidentally set fire to a large portion of the city when besieged by a mob in 47 B.C?
A Christian mob under Patriarch Theophilus razed pagan temples in 391 CE and Muslim forces that conquered Egypt in 640 CE supposedly burned the books to heat the city’s bathhouses, on the basis that any scrolls that contradicted the Koran were heretical and any that agreed with it were superfluous.
This last story is almost certainly a myth, but it is possible that the other two culprits do share some blame.
As the fate of the New Library of Alexandra now rests in the hands of Egypt’s newly-elected Islamists, some worry that many books are in danger of being destroyed.
It is also the case that Alexandria suffered numerous other insults, with a number of Roman emperors visiting death and destruction on the city in response to rebellions or perceived slights.
Most likely there was not a single destructive event, but several, culminating in the ruin of the Serapeum.
The above article says, “A Christian mob under Patriarch Theophilus razed pagan temples.” Talk about an oxymoron. A Christian would never build a pagan temple.
Anyone who believes the above statement would believe oxymoron, “Obama is an intelligent, honest and good president.”
Pope Francis says:
– Priests can forgive sin,
– It’s okay to be a homosexual,
– You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven, and
– If you follow him on Twitter you will do less time in Purgatory (that’s not a total lie because there is no Purgatory).
We’ve talked about many things, such as lost cities, great empires, paganism from the beginning of time, and how evil the world is becoming.
Most people have heard about the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692, but we don’t hear much about witchcraft now days, and many thing it no longer exists, if it ever did.
Tomorrow we’re going to look at…
The Conversion of Zaccheus
1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
Imagine a new Library of Alexandria. Imagine an archive that contains all the natural and social sciences of the West—our source-critical, referenced, peer-reviewed data—as well as the cultural and literary heritage of the world’s civilizations, and many of the world’s most significant archives and specialist collections. Imagine that this library is electronic and in the public domain: sustainable, stable, linked, and searchable through universal semantic catalogue standards. Imagine that it has open source-ware, allowing legacy digital resources and new digital knowledge to be integrated in real time. Imagine that its Second Web capabilities allowed universal researches of the bibliome.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
“Son of Abraham” – a true Jews – not only of the lineage of Abraham but one who also walks “in the steps” of Abraham’s faith (Rom 4:12). Jesus recognized he tax collector as such, though Jewish society excluded him.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
The key verse in Luke’s Gospel.
“To seek and to save” – an important summary of Jesus’ purpose – to bring salvation, meaning eternal life, and the kingdom of God.
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
When her lover Julius Ceaser was killed, Egyptian queen Cleopatra began an affair with Roman general Marc Antony. When the Roman emperor turned against Antony, Cleopatra was forced to flee Egypt. She spread rumors of her own suicide—only to have Antony kill himself as a result. When Cleopatra found out, legends say she took her own life by inducing a poisonous snake to bite her.
“Kingdom of God should immediately appear’ – they expected the Messiah to appear in power and glory and to set up His earthly kingdom, defeating all their political and military enemies.
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
“To receive for himself a kingdom” – a rather usually procedure, but the Herods did just that when they went to Rome to be appointed rulers over the Jews. Similarly, Jesus was soon to depart and in the future is to return as King.
During his absence, His servants are entrusted with their Master’s affairs, that include all believers, not just then, but now too (for a similar parable see Matt 25:14-30).
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
“Ten pounds” – each pound, or mina, was about three months’ wages. One talent equaled 60 minas and a mina equaled 100 drachmas, each drachma being worth about a day’s wages.
Thus the total amount was valued at between two and three years’ average wages, and a tenth would be about three months’ wages. This was small, however, compared with the amounts mentioned in the parable recorded in Matthew.
Here all ten are given the same amount, showing equal responsibility to use what they were given.
Marcus Antonius, commonly known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. As a military commander and administrator, he was an important supporter and loyal friend of his mother’s cousin Julius Caesar.
4 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
“Thou knewest that I was an austere man…?” – the master did not admit to the statement of the servant, but repeated it in a question. If this was the opinion of the servant, he should have acted accordingly.
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general, statesman, Consul, and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.
24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
“Shall be given…shall be taken away” – see Matt 13:12. Those who seek spiritual gain in the gospel, for themselves and others, will become richer, and those who neglect or squander what is given them will become impoverished, losing even what they have.
27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
“Those mine enemies…slay them” – perhaps a reference to Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 A.D. the punishment of those who rebelled and actively opposed the king was much more severe than that of the negligent servant.
28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
19:28-44 – the Triumphal Entry occurred on Sunday of Passion Week.
29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,
“Bethphage” – a village near the road going from Jericho to Jerusalem.
“Bethany” – another village about two miles southeast of Jerusalem and the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
Cleopatra VII Philopator, known to history as Cleopatra, was the last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, only shortly survived by her son, Caesarion as pharaoh.
“Mount called the mount of Olives” – a ridge a little more than a mile long, separated from Jerusalem by the Kidron Valley – to the east of the city.
30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.
“Village” – probably Bethphage.
“Whereon yet never man sat” – one that had not been put to secular use.
31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.
33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?
34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.
36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.
37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
‘Quarter of the world will be Muslim by 2030’
The world’s Muslim population will grow twice as fast as non-Muslims over the next 20 years according to a new study, which predicted that Muslims within a generation will make up more than a quarter of the global population.
“All the mighty works” – the raising of Lazarus and the healing of blind Bartimeus were recent examples, but included also would be the works recorded in John on various occasions in Jerusalem, as well as the whole of His ministry in Galilee.
38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
“The time of the visitation” – God came to the Jews in the person of Jesus the Messiah, but they failed to recognize Him and rejected Him, and they are still rejecting Him.
45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;
Muslims Cover Up Crime Committed Against Teenage Girl December 17, 2013. Who says Muslims don’t stick together to conceal crimes committed against others, and themselves?
I have long said that any Muslim, who knows about one of their own having committed a crime or act of terrorism, and turns a blind eye to it, is just as complicit as the person who committed the crime, or act of terror.
In New Zealand, a young Muslim teenage girl was taken away from her home by authorities after it was discovered that she suffered physical abuse from her very own family members.
The Muslim community in which she resided in, is said to have known of the abuse, but helped cover up the crime.
Mark 11:11-17 makes clear that this cleansing occurred the day after the Triumphal Entry, i.e.., on Monday of Passion Week.
46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.
47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,
“Chief Priests” – they were part of the Sanhedrin, the ruling Jewish council, the ones that played the biggest part on Jesus’ crucifixion.
48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.
…World of Witchcraft.