People follow calendars, but they also create and use them to advance their personal and political agendas.
The two primary parameters that shape human thinking, regardless of culture, antiquity, or language, are space and time…spacetime for the physicists among us. It is difficult to understand any communication without a common understanding of these parameters. Such simple phrases as “See you tomorrow” require both parties to have a similar understanding of “tomorrow”.
In the absolute sense, time is dictated by the rhythms of nature as determined by the Creator. In the past it was viewed as the distance in history (as opposed to geography) between events. In that mindset, the idea of saving time was ludicrous. Time progressed at its own rate and rhythm and man could do nothing to change those realities. Ancients wanted tasks to be quick and efficient just like moderns do, and for many of the same reasons, to maximize the duration of pleasant experiences and minimize that of unpleasant ones. However, in the ancient mind time was not like money, which could be stored. It had to be used.
Continue reading “Calendars, Cultures, and Politics”
Alexander the Great did far more than conquer the Middle East and large swaths of Central Asia. He spread Greek thought, customs, and culture into every place he went. Hellenization, making cultures more Greek, was anathema in Judea. And yet, Greek and Hebrew cultures mixed to form the milieu of first century Israel.
By Mark D. Harris
When conquerors want to subdue a foe, they crush their armies. If they want to rule a conquered land, however, they must displace the culture of that land. Alexander the Great knew this, and as he wanted an empire that would outlive him, he needed to displace conquered cultures with his own. This was especially urgent to him due to the diversity of his empire, including Assyrians, Jews, Egyptians, Persians, Parthians, Armenians, and a host of others. Hellenism is Greek culture, and is the primary weapon, even more than his armies, that Alexander used to influence Middle Eastern and European history for millennia.
Continue reading “Hellenization After Alexander – What was it, and Why Did it Matter?”
Dive deeper into your Bible study. Dig into the Scriptures word by word. Do word studies.
By Mark D. Harris
The Bible is the very best book in the world. There is none like it, for it is the very word of Almighty God. Therefore every man, woman and child should immerse themselves in it. There are several levels at which we encounter the Bible.
1. Read the Bible
Continue reading “Why Word Studies are Useful in Bible Study”
2. Study the Bible – carefully examine every passage and the interaction between them set against their historical backdrop in language and culture.
3. Memorize the Bible – commit large portions of God’s word to memory, hiding it in our hearts (Psalm 119:11).
4. Meditate on the Bible – ponder each concept and statement deeply and ask the Lord to reveal His meaning.