Bible and Holy Land

Is it hard to image what President Obama has not been called. The tea party partisans say he is not an American; many Republicans think he is a Muslim (or Arab as though there is any difference). And he has let Muslim Brothers take over the government. He is obviously a socialist, if not a communist. And then there is what the Bible has to say about this American president (not to mention several others before him and quite a few defunct world leaders). So some prophecy sites on Youtube say he is the Beast of Revelation. After all, the secret service calls his presidential limousine “the beast.” Or the Antichrist. If he had a sex change operation, he would no doubt be a candidate for the “Whore of Babylon.” But then where would that leave Hilary Clinton? And now that we know that Michelle Obama is a man, it is really hard to find a revelation role for her or him.


Apocalypse has gone digital in a big way. A Google search will open up more prophetic doomsayers than you can shake a Schofield Bible at. One of my favorites (perhaps not the right term for what I actually think about such sites) is the slick Youtube “Armageddon News.” The voice is that of the standard digital female used in a host of amateur cartoon videos. There is no obvious reference to who puts the site out, so my first reaction was that it could be satire. But in this case the real thing is probably more satirical than any satire could be. The Youtube channel presents 23 videos. One of the more bizarre videos links the “mark of the Beast” and the number 666 in the biblical book of Revelation to Islam in a rather ingenious way. Of all the conspiracy theories out there about Bible prophecy and Islam, this one takes the proverbial cake. Do check it out on Youtube.

So here is the gematric plot, as devised by Satan, of course. In the Greek of the book of Revelation the number 666 is spelled out in Greek letters. Guess what? If you do a little angle (not angel) shifting you will have the bismillah alongside the cross swords. John left a clue some two millennia ago for anyone with a vivid imagination. But there is more. If you look at the ornamental marks on Allahu Akbar, they are all 6s. How more specific can you get? (more…)

The Prince of Wales and group at the Pyramids, Giza, Cairo, March 1862 Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Prints from first photographed royal tour go on show at Buckingham Palace. Click here to see ten images.

I recently across a copy of The Christian Herald from December 1, 1915 and the lead article by John Maynard Owens is on a recent trip he took to Syria and Iraq. The images are from a century ago and I will attach a few excerpts from the article.

There is an extraordinary cartoon video on Vimeo that gives the historical background to the current battle in Gaza. Check it out here. And God bless Andy Williams.

All eyes in the world are on Gaza or at least they should be. The daily deaths and destruction rival the biblical “fire and brimstone” that fell out of the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. If you think this is an exaggeration, check out this explicit video made by a Guardian crew. Gaza is drenched in biblical symbolism; this is a desolate zone that bleeds tragedy. Here was the ancestral home of the Philistines, an arch enemy of Israel, now transformed into stateless Palestinians trapped in a living hell. Literally trapped, so that there are no safe houses, even those supposedly sanctioned by the United Nations. As you read this commentary, it is likely that somewhere in Gaza someone is being killed, blown to pieces by a bomb (labeled “made in the USA”) or maimed for life, and a short and miserable life at that.

The Bible is a book full of prophecy, but then there are those stories that have such a déjà vu quality that it takes the breath away. Consider this King James Version passage from I Samuel 18:6-7:

And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

Of course, the KJV is now four centuries old, so it always needs to be translated into contemporary terms. So perhaps this would fit the current Gaza better: (more…)

Today is the official Memorial Day, a day set aside for Americans to honor those who died while serving their country in times of war. The idea started after the American Civil War in which as many as 625,000 individuals, almost 2% of the entire population at the time, were killed. I have an ancestor who was one of the lucky ones, having served in the northern army, captured and held captive by the confederacy and then released. I inherited some of the original New York Herald Tribune newspapers he saved from that time. I also have three uncles who served in World War II, Uncle Al in the Army, Uncle Ray in the Air Force, and Uncle Andy in the Navy. All survived, although the total U.S. war dead from World War II was over 405,000. When one tallies all the U.S. war dead, starting with Revolutionary War, the figure reaches over 1,300,000, not including those who our troops killed on the “other” sides.

So there is good reason to celebrate Memorial Day, whether your ancestors, relatives and friends were killed, wounded or survived unscathed. As moral agents we should remember and honor the sacrifice so many have made, but we should never celebrate the idea of war. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” quoth the Gospel. The unspoken follow-up must be “damn the warmakers.” (more…)

What do a new film about the biblical Noah, who built the ark, and the Muslim Brotherhood have in common? Both have been banned in Egypt. Muhammad Morsi, the stealth brother who was elected president of Egypt, was removed from office last July (one day before we in America celebrated our revolution). On December 25 (the consummate day for thinking about peace one earth), Egypt declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Now along comes Noah, at least the latest Hollywood version, with Russell Crowe donning the mantle (at least the biblical robe variety) of Charlton Heston and providing a robust challenge to John Huston’s whimsical Noah in The Bible. The major Egyptian Islamic institution, al-Azhar, has issued a fatwa condemning the film for depicting the Prophet Noah (who has an entire chapter devoted to him in the Quran). Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have already officially banned the film and Egypt is likely to follow suit, given the fatwa. (more…)

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