5/18/15

"CONVERSIONS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS" The Ethiopian Eunuch (8:26-40)




                   "CONVERSIONS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                     The Ethiopian Eunuch (8:26-40)

INTRODUCTION

1. The conversions we have noted so far have involved large numbers of
   people...
   a. The 3000 at Pentecost - Ac 2:1-41
   b. The 2000 on Solomon's Porch - Ac 3:1-4:4
   c. The multitudes in Samaria - Ac 8:5-13

2. In each case, the gospel message was basically the same...
   a. Christ is proclaimed
   b. Responses called for included faith, repentance and baptism

3. Now we have the opportunity to examine the conversion of just one 
   person...
   a. A queen's treasurer, a eunuch from Ethiopia
   b. A very religious man, who had traveled a great distance to 
      worship God

4. With the account of the conversion of "The Ethiopian Eunuch"...
   a. We not only have the opportunity to confirm what we have already
      learned
   b. We can also glean a few more points regarding Biblical 
      conversions

[Let's start with a reading and review of the basic facts related to
this conversion...]

I. THE CONVERSION OF THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH

   A. PHILIP IS SENT TO THE EUNUCH - Ac 8:26-29
      1. An angel of the Lord tells Philip to go toward Gaza - Ac 8:26
      2. On the way there is a man sitting in his chariot - Ac 8:27-28
         a. A eunuch of Ethiopia, in charge of the treasury of Queen 
            Candace
         b. Returning home from having gone to worship in Jerusalem
         c. Reading from the prophet Isaiah
      3. The Spirit tells Philip to overtake the chariot - Ac 8:29

   B. PHILIP PREACHES JESUS TO HIM - Ac 8:30-35
      1. Hearing the eunuch reading Isaiah, Philip asks if he 
         understands - Ac 8:30
      2. The eunuch asks Philip to help him - Ac 8:31-34
         a. He expresses a need for someone to guide him, and invites 
            Philip to sit with him
         b. The scripture under consideration is Isa 53:7-8
            1) Which speaks of one led as a sheep to the slaughter
            2) Which describes one whose life is taken from the earth
         c. The eunuch asks if Isaiah was speaking of himself, or of 
            someone else
      3. Beginning with that Scripture, Philip preaches Jesus to him 
         - Ac 8:35

   C. THE EUNUCH IS BAPTIZED - Ac 8:36-40
      1. The eunuch expresses a desire to be baptized - Ac 8:36-37
         a. Seeing some water along the way, he wonders what would 
            hinder him from being baptized
         b. Philip replies that if he believes with all his heart, he
            may
         c. The eunuch confesses his faith in Jesus as the Son of God
      2. Philip baptizes the eunuch - Ac 8:38-40
         a. Stopping the chariot, both Philip and the eunuch go down 
            into the water
         b. Philip then baptizes him
         c. When they come up out of the water, the Spirit catches 
            Philip away
         d. Though seeing Philip no more, the eunuch goes on his way
            rejoicing
         e. Philip is found at Azotus, and continues preaching in the
            cities until he arrives at Caesarea

[One might properly wonder why the Spirit saw it fit to lead Luke to
spend so much time describing the conversion of just one person.  
Clearly there must be important lessons or principles that we can glean
from this historical account.

With that in mind, let me offer..]

II. SOME OBSERVATIONS

   A. CONCERNING PROSPECTS FOR THE GOSPEL...
      1. The Ethiopian eunuch was a very religious man
         a. He had traveled a great distance to worship in Jerusalem
         b. He was reading from the Scriptures when Philip found him
      2. In fact, most examples of conversions involved very devout 
         people
         a. The 3000 at Pentecost, who had traveled to observe the 
            feast day
         b. Later, we will study the conversions of such people as:
            1) Paul, the Pharisee zealous for the Law
            2) Cornelius, the devout Gentile who feared God and prayed
               always
            3) Lydia, a woman who met every Sabbath to pray with others
      3. From this we can glean the following...
         a. Just because one is religious does not mean they are saved!
         b. Religious people are often good prospects for the gospel!
            1) They already fear God and respect His authority
            2) As such, they simply need to be shown "the way of God
               more accurately" - cf. Ac 18:26
         c. Those who are truly seeking God's will, will one day have
            an opportunity to hear the gospel and obey it!
      -- This does not discount the fact that rank sinners are often 
         receptive (cf. the Corinthians, 1Co 6:9-11), but good people
         are usually more open to the Word
   
   B. CONCERNING WHAT IT MEANS TO PREACH JESUS...
      1. From Isaiah's "quotation" (Isa 52:13-53:11), we know it 
         involves teaching:
         a. How Jesus died for our sins - cf. 1Co 15:1-3
         b. How Jesus has been exalted by God - cf. Ac 2:36; 3:13; 
            5:30-31
      2. From the Eunuch's "question" (Ac 8:36), we know it includes
         stressing:
         a. The importance of baptism
            1) Why did the eunuch ask, "What hinders me from being 
               baptized?"
            2) Perhaps because Philip told him...
               a) What the Lord had said - Mk 16:15-16
               b) The purpose of baptism, as expressed by Peter and 
                  Paul - Ac 2:38; Ro 6:3-4; 1Pe 3:21
            -- As we have seen and will see, baptism is the expected
               response when one believes in Jesus
         b. The immediacy of baptism
            1) Why did the eunuch asked to be baptized right then
               ("See, here is water.")?
            2) Perhaps because baptism's purpose is such that one does
               not want to delay
               a) It is "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
               b) It is to have one's sins "washed away" - Ac 22:16
               c) It is an appeal for a clear conscience - 1Pe 3:21
            -- Indeed, in every example of conversion found in Acts,
               people were baptized immediately, after just one lesson!
      3. From Philip's "qualification" (Ac 8:37), we know it requires
         explaining:
         a. The necessity of faith in Jesus
            1) One must believe in Jesus as the Son of God - Jn 8:24;
               20:30-31
            2) Without faith, God won't do His work in our baptism
               - cf. Col 2:12
         b. The necessity of whole-heartedness in our faith
            1) God has always required whole-heartedness - cf. Mt 22:37
            2) Without it, even those saved are in danger of falling
               away - cf. He 3:12-14
         -- Unless "you believe with all your heart", you are not a
            proper subject for baptism!

   C. CONCERNING BAPTISM...
      1. We see that baptism involves water
         a. When the eunuch was baptized...
            1) "...both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water"
               - Ac 8:38
            2) "...he baptized him" - Ac 8:38
            3) "...they came up out of the water" - Ac 8:39
         b. Later, we see the same truth expressed by Peter - cf. Ac 10:47-48
      2. We see that baptism involves a burial in water
         a. Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water - Ac 8:38
            1) If sprinkling satisfies the meaning of baptism, it seems
               strange that Philip would need to go down into the water
            2) Why get wet, when all he needed to do was get a handful
               of water?
         b. Baptism means "to immerse", and such requires the baptizer
            to get in the water with the one being baptized
         c. Later, Paul describes baptism as a "burial" - cf. Ro 6:3-4;
            Col 2:12
      3. We see that baptism is NOT a public confession of one's faith
         a. Some say that the purpose of baptism is to publicly confess
            one's faith in Christ
            1) Especially those who deny that baptism is for the 
               remission of sins
            2) Seeking to provide a reason for baptism, they offer this
               as an alternative
            3) But the Bible nowhere says this is the purpose for 
               baptism!
         b. If the purpose of baptism is to publicly confess one's 
            faith...
            1) Why did Philip baptize the eunuch?
               a) There was no one else around to witness the baptism
               b) They were all alone in the desert
            2) Why didn't Philip answer the eunuch's question 
               differently?
               a) He wanted to know what would hinder him from being 
                  baptized
               b) If baptism is a public confession of one's faith, we
                  would expect Philip to say he must wait until they 
                  get to town, find a church, etc.
         c. But the purpose of baptism is such that it can be done...
            1) In public or in private
            2) With thousands present, or with just the one doing the
               baptizing
         -- Later, we will see that the conversion of the Philippian 
            Jailor also involved a baptism in relative privacy

CONCLUSION

1. With the conversion of "The Ethiopian Eunuch", we are impressed 
   with the simplicity of salvation...
   a. With a simple presentation of the gospel, one can be saved after
      just one lesson
   b. Whether it is preached to large crowds or to just one person, the
      gospel is indeed God's power to save! - cf. Ro 1:16

2. When the gospel of Jesus is truly preached...
   a. The death of Jesus for our sins will be stressed
   b. The importance of baptism as commanded by Jesus will be mentioned
      as well
      1) Such that people will want to know "what hinders me from being
         baptized?"
      2) Such that people will want to baptized immediately
   c. The purpose of baptism will be properly understood, knowing that
      one can be baptized in private just as well as in public
   d. The necessity for a whole-hearted faith in Jesus will be 
      emphasized, otherwise one simply gets wet in baptism!

Was your conversion anything like that of "The Ethiopian Eunuch"? When
someone "preached Jesus" to you, were you compelled to ask:

 "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" - Acts 8:36

If not, have you considered why not?  Could it be that the gospel of 
Jesus Christ was not shared with you in its fullness...?


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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The Quran and the Flood by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=3509

The Quran and the Flood

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The Quran’s depictions of the great Flood of Noah’s day contain oddities that cause one who is familiar with the Bible to question the Quran’s reliability. For example, in Surah 11:36-40 the Quran describes Noah’s conflict with his contemporaries and, in the process, makes a puzzling remark pertaining to the condition of the Flood waters:
And it was inspired in Noah, (saying): No one of thy folk will believe save him who hath believed already. Be not distressed because of what they do. Build the ship under Our Eyes and by Our inspiration, and speak not unto Me on behalf of those who do wrong. Lo! they will be drowned. And he was building the ship, and every time that chieftains of his people passed him, they made mock of him. He said: Though ye make mock of us, yet we mock at you even as ye mock; And ye shall know to whom a punishment that will confound him cometh, and upon whom a lasting doom will fall. (Thus it was) till, when Our commandment came to pass and the oven gushed forth water (Surah 11:36-40, emp. added).
This peculiar allusion to the waters of the Flood coming from an oven is repeated in Surah 23:
And We verily sent Noah unto his folk, and he said: O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other god save Him. Will ye not ward off (evil)? But the chieftains of his folk, who disbelieved, said: This is only a mortal like you who would make himself superior to you. Had Allah willed, He surely could have sent down angels. We heard not of this in the case of our fathers of old. He is only a man in whom is a madness, so watch him for a while. He said: My Lord! Help me because they deny me. Then We inspired in him, saying: Make the ship under Our eyes and Our inspiration. Then, when Our command cometh and the oven gusheth water, introduce therein of every (kind) two spouses, and thy household save him thereof against whom the Word hath already gone forth. And plead not with Me on behalf of those who have done wrong. Lo! they will be drowned. And when thou art on board the ship, thou and who so is with thee, then say: Praise be to Allah Who hath saved us from the wrongdoing folk! (Surah 23:23-28, emp. added).
The above renderings of the Quran are taken from the celebrated translation by Muslim scholar Muhammad Pickthall. In contrast to Pickthall’s rendering, Abdullah Yusuf Ali translated the phrase “the oven gusheth water” with the words “the fountains of the earth gushed forth.” Observe that these two renderings are significantly different translations of the Arabic. Ali offers the following explanation for his rendering: “Far al tannur. Two interpretations have been given: (1) the fountains or the springs on the surface of the earth bubbled over or gushed forth; or (2) the oven (of Allah’s Wrath) boiled over. The former has the weight of the best authority behind it and I prefer it” (2001, p. 520). But this “explanation” offers no rationale for accepting his preference, and it fails to provide linguistic proof to justify the preference.
In stark contrast, consider the discussion posed by Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, Sunni Pakistani Muslim scholar, revivalist leader, political philosopher, and prominent 20th century Islamist thinker. His ancestry on his paternal side was traced back to Muhammad. In 1974, the title of Imam-ul-Muslimeen was bestowed upon him in the annual meeting of Raabta-e-Aalam-e-Islami in Saudi Arabia (“Sayyid Abul…,” 2009). From 1942-1972, Maududi produced the Tafhim-ul-Quran (تفہيم القرآن‎)—a six-volume translation and explanation of the Quran. Here is a Muslim scholar, well-qualified to provide assistance in making sense of the text of the Quran. In his insightful discussion of Surah 11:40, Maududi explained:
Commentators on the Qur’an have offered different explanations of this incident. In our view, the place from which the Flood began was a particular oven. It is from beneath it that a spring of water burst forth. This was followed by both a heavy downpour and by a very large number of springs which gushed forth. Surah al-Qamar provides relevant information in some detail: So We opened the gates of the heaven, with water intermittently pouring forth, and We caused the earth to be cleaved and the springs to flow out everywhere. Then the water (from both the sources—the heaven and the earth) converged to bring about that which had been decreed (al-Qamar, 54: 11-12).
In the present verse, the word tannur has been preceded by the article al: According to Arabic grammar, this indicates that the reference is to a particular tannur (oven). Thus, it is evident that God had determined that the Flood should commence from a particular oven. As soon as the appointed moment came, and as soon as God so ordained, water burst forth from that oven. Subsequently, it became known as the Flood-Oven. The fact that God had earmarked a certain oven to serve as the starting-point of the Flood is borne out by al-Mu’minun 23:27 (n.d., endnote 42, emp. added).
In his commentary on the parallel passage in Surah 23:27, Maududi further explained:
In view of the context, we see no reason why one should take a farfetched figurative meaning of a clear word of the Qur’an. It appears that a particular oven (tannur) had been ear-marked for the deluge to start from, which was to all appearances an unexpected origin of the doom of the wretched people (n.d., endnote 29, emp. added).
Of course, the Bible makes no reference to any oven or the temperature of the Flood waters. However, Jewish legends codified in the Talmud do. Jewish rabbinical sources (Midrash Tanchuma 5;Rosh Hashanah 12a; Sanhedrin 108b; Zebahim 113b; Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 10,29b; et al.) provide the basis for the Quran’s allusion:
The crowd of sinners tried to take the entrance to the ark by storm, but the wild beasts keeping watch around the ark set upon them, and many were slain, while the rest escaped, only to meet death in the waters of the flood. The water alone could not have made an end of them, for they were giants in stature and strength. When Noah threatened them with the scourge of God, they would make reply: “If the waters of the flood come from above, they will never reach up to our necks; and if they come from below, the soles of our feet are large enough to dam up the springs.” But God bade each drop pass through Gehenna before it fell to earth, and the hot rain scalded the skin of the sinners. The punishment that overtook them was befitting their crime. As their sensual desires had made them hot, and inflamed them to immoral excesses, so they were chastised by means of heated water(Ginzberg, 1909, 1:106, emp. added).
Keep in mind that these Jewish legends are just that—legends. The rabbis that formulated them recognized that their renditions were not to be confused with actual Scripture. The brand of Judaism to which the author of the Quran was exposed, like Christianity at the time, was a corrupt one. Literally centuries of legend, myth, and fanciful folklore had accumulated among the Jews, reported in the Talmud, the Midrash, and the Targumim. These three Jewish sources were replete with rabbinical commentary and speculation—admitted to be uninspired. These tales and fables would have existed in Arabia in oral form as they were told and retold at Bedouin campfires, among the traveling trade caravans that crisscrossed the desert, and in the towns, villages, and centers of social interaction from Yemen in the southern Arabian Peninsula, to Abyssinia to the west, and Palestine, Syria, and Persia to the north. The allegedly hot waters of the Flood are one example among many of the Quran’s reliance on uninspired Jewish sources. Indeed, the Quran is literally riddled with such allusions. The evidence that the Quran contains a considerable amount of borrowed material from uninspired Talmudic sources, rabbinical oral traditions, and Jewish legends—stories that abound in puerile, apocryphal, absurd, outlandish pablum—is self-evident and unmistakable. [For more discussion on this point, see Miller, 2005, pp. 73ff.]

REFERENCES

Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2001), The Meaning of the Holy Quran (Beltsville, MD: Amana Productions), tenth edition.
Ginzberg, Louis (1909), The Legends of the Jews (Charleston, SC: Forgotten Books, 2008 reprint).
Maududi, Sayyid Abul Ala (no date), Tafhim al-Qur’an (The Meaning of the Qur’an), englishtafsir.com.
Miller, Dave (2005), The Quran Unveiled (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Pickthall, Mohammed M. (no date), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).
“Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi” (2009), English Islam Times, May 16, http://www.islamtimes.org/vdca.onyk49nomgt14.html.

Defending the Biblical Position Against Lying by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=2843

Defending the Biblical Position Against Lying

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Generally, truthfulness is considered a valuable component of the ethical life. However, a pressing question in moral philosophy is whether it is ever permissible to lie. The Bible contains general prohibitions against lying, in both the Old and New Testaments:
  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16).
  • You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11).
  • These six things the Lord hates, yes seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue... (Proverbs 6:16-17).
  • [A]ll liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).
  • But there shall by no means enter [eternal life—CC] anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27).
The adherent to biblical doctrine is an ethical “absolutist” when it comes to lying; that is, he takes the position that lying is never the right thing to do. Furthermore, the Bible’s strictures against lying are, to him, sufficient grounds for his decision never to lie. However, the purpose of this article is to show that the biblical position may be defended against secular claims that absolutism against lying is unreasonable.
The secular ethicist might base his objection on so-called “common-sense morality.” In this case, he would decry the absolutist’s prohibition of lying in certain cases where it might seem right to lie. The most famous such scenario is that of the “murderer at the door,” as explained by Benjamin Constant:
The moral principle stating that it is a duty to tell the truth would make any society impossible if that principle were taken singly and unconditionally. We have proof of this in the very direct consequences which a German philosopher [Immanuel Kant—CC] has drawn from this principle. This philosopher goes as far as to assert that it would be a crime to tell a lie to a murderer who asked whether our friend who is being pursued by the murderer had taken refuge in our house (quoted in Kant, 1994, p. 162).
Constant was responding to Immanuel Kant, a professed Christian (see Rossi, 2009). While Kant’s rational morality was not based on the Bible, he was an absolutist concerning lying: “Truthfulness in statements that cannot be avoided is the formal duty of man to everyone, however great the disadvantage that may arise therefrom for him or for any other” (p. 163). Recognizing the general distaste at the prospect of telling the “murderer at the door” that a friend is hiding in the house, some Kantian scholars have gone to great lengths to show that Kant actually misinterpreted his own categorical imperative in order to establish an absolutist principle (e.g., Korsgaard, 1986). Whether such efforts succeed is beyond the scope of this article, which is not designed to justify Kant.
Utilitarianism is a system that has been positioned as the formalization of “common-sense morality” (e.g., Sidgwick, 1893, pp. 162-176). The assertion that one should lie in order to save others might be grounded on the act-utilitarian principles of Jeremy Bentham. He summarized his moral philosophy in the following statement:
By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question: or, what is the same thing in other words, to promote or to oppose that happiness (1907, p. 2).
According to Bentham, we must do that which maximizes happiness. To apply this principle to the case of the murderer at the door: It would seem that the happiness resulting from relieving the refugee of mortal danger would outweigh any negative feelings on the part of the murderer, should he ever discover the deception. (This comparison assumes that we give equal moral weight to the innocent and the guilty—an allocation which may be questioned.) The morally correct decision therefore, on utilitarian grounds, is to lie to the murderer. Probably most students agree with Bentham’s application.
Consider four available, extra-biblical responses to the utilitarian viewpoint:
1. The “murderer-at-the-door” case is extreme. Very few people find themselves in scenarios where a decision like this one regarding “murderer at the door” is necessary. So, ethicists should proceed carefully in criticizing biblical ethics, to avoid rushing to the conclusion that one extreme hypothetical case renders absolutism unreasonable.
2. Truth does not murder. Kant rightly states that “[Constant—CC] confuses the action whereby someone does harm to another by telling the truth when its avowal cannot be avoided with the action whereby someone does wrong to another. It was merely an accident that the truth of the statement did harm [but not wrong] to the occupant of the house” (p. 165, bracketed item in orig.). The truth-teller isnot the murderer.
3. Outcomes are unpredictable. Human finitude dictates that none of us could be certain what would happen if he was to tell the truth to the murderer. Kant, for example, was aware of several potentialities:
For example, if by telling a lie you have in fact hindered someone who was even now planning a murder, then you are legally responsible for all the consequences that might result therefrom. But if you have adhered strictly to the truth, then public justice cannot lay a hand on you, whatever the unforeseen consequence might be. It is indeed possible that after you have honestly answered Yes to the murderer’s question as to whether the intended victim is in the house, the latter went out unobserved and thus eluded the murderer, so that the deed would not have come about. However, if you told a lie and said that the intended victim was not in the house, and he has actually (though unbeknownst to you) gone out, with the result that by so doing he has been met by the murderer and thus the deed has been perpetrated, then in this case you may be justly accused as having caused his death. For if you had told the truth as best you knew it, then the murderer might perhaps have been caught by neighbors who came running while he was searching the house for his intended victim, and thus the deed might have been prevented. Therefore, whoever tells a lie, regardless of how good his intentions may be, must answer for the consequences resulting therefrom (p. 164, parenthetical item in orig.).
The creative among us could imagine a large number of outcomes, both good and bad. Kant reminds us that we do not know that the truth-telling would result in murder, and therefore our decision cannot be based on certainty.
So, a decision to tell the truth is not a decision to kill the refugee. Furthermore, options are available. Silence is an option. Kant carefully stated that what is required is “Truthfulness in statements that cannot be avoided” (p. 163). The biblical ethicist does not assert that a person tell all he knows.
4. A slippery slope threatens. Another response to Bentham’s position is that it implicitly requires us to determine a standard of difficulty which, when met, makes lying permissible. This requirement is problematic. May we tell a lie when the inquirer at the door seeks only to injure the refugee? What if he wants to inflict only a harsh reprimand? What if the inquirer merely happens to be someone the refugee dislikes? Bentham’s principle leaves us in the problematic position of judging how “bad” things must get before utility merits a lie. This difficulty is one reason why some, including John Stuart Mill, sought to amend Bentham’s approach in order to provide concrete rules for behavior (Mill, 1895, p. 35; cf. Brown, 1997, p. 37). Kant seems to have anticipated this problem:
[T]here is the problem of how to make arrangements so that in a society, however large, harmony can be maintained in accordance with principles of freedom and equality.... [T]his will then be a principle of politics; and establishing and arranging such a political system will involve decrees that are drawn from experiential knowledge regarding men; and such decrees will have in view only the mechanism for the administration of justice and how such mechanism is to be suitably arranged. Right must never be adapted to politics; rather, politics must always be adapted to right (p. 166, emp. added).
While Sidgwick thinks that society would be worse-off if criminals could rely on others’ honesty (1893, p. 449), the options mentioned above demonstrate that society may be both truthful and unfavorable to criminals’ pursuits. Presumably, even utilitarians would agree that an honest society is worth pursuing (e.g., Mill, 1895, p. 41).

CONCLUSION

The Bible is unmistakably clear about the wrongness of lying. While we need not agree with Kant about everything, we happily acknowledge his assistance in showing how the biblical position appeals to human rationality. We agree with him that “[t]o be truthful (honest) in all declarations is, therefore, a sacred and unconditionally commanding law...that admits of no expediency whatsoever” (p. 164, parenthetical item in orig.).

REFERENCES

Bentham, Jeremy (1907), An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (Oxford, England: Clarendon).
Brown, D.G. (1997), “Mill’s Act-Utilitarianism,” Mill’s Utilitarianism: Critical Essays, ed. David Lyons (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield).
Kant, Immanuel (1994 reprint), Ethical Philosophy (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett), second edition.
Korsgaard, Christine M. (1986), “The Right to Lie: Kant on Dealing with Evil,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 15[4]:325-349.
Mill, John Stuart (1895), Utilitarianism (London: George Routledge & Sons), twelfth edition.
Rossi, Philip (2009), “Kant’s Moral Philosophy,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, [On-line], URL:http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-religion/.
Sidgwick, Henry (1893), The Methods of Ethics (New York: Macmillan), fifth edition.

Australia's Unique Animals by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1137

Australia's Unique Animals

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

Q.

How do creationists explain the origin and distribution of Australia’s unique animals in terms of a young Earth and a worldwide flood?

A.

Explaining the origin of Australia’s marsupial population, and especially its uniqueness to that one isolated southern continent, is difficult for evolutionists and creationists alike. Marsupials such as kangaroos, opossums, wallabies, and koalas seem unusual, but monotremes (i.e., the echidna and the platypus) are even more puzzling. The main difference between marsupials and most other mammals centers on the reproductive system. Marsupials give birth prematurely and allow the fetus to develop in an external pouch. In other mammals, excluding the monotremes which lay eggs, the fetus develops within the uterus and is attached to, and nourished by, the placenta.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about marsupials is that they nearly all have non-marsupial equivalents in other parts of the world (see Dobzhansky, et al., 1977, Figure 9.3, p. 267). The kangaroo has a similar role to the antelope roaming the African savanna. The wombat resembles a badger, and even has a backward-pointing pouch so that it will not fill with dirt while burrowing! There also are many small marsupials that have rodent counterparts. Evolutionists attribute such similarities to “parallel evolution” in both homology (being alike in form) and analogy (occupying a corresponding niche). That is, they believe that these marsupials and their placental peers developed independently; they share similar characteristics, but took two different paths to get there (see Simpson and Beck, 1965, pp. 499-501). A common ancestry, combined with similar forces of natural selection, evolutionists assert, will result in the same sort of changes through time. This common ancestor is thought to be the opossum because it is a marsupial and is found in other areas of the world apart from Australia.
According to evolutionary theory, the opossum was a primitive mammal living 200 million years ago on a single southern land mass called Gondwanaland. When parts of this supercontinent divided into what are now Australia and South America, the opossums were separated geographically. Over eons of time, so the story goes, the Australian descendants of the opossum developed into the various types of marsupials seen today. However, in South America, they “evolved” placentas and eventually migrated to North America and Eurasia.
These evolutionary ideas suffer from a number of problems, as listed below:
  • There are no intermediate fossils (“transitional forms”) showing the development of the various marsupials from an opossum or opossum-like ancestor. Further, to suggest that one type of mammal could arise by supposed evolutionary mechanisms is incredible enough, but the chances of having both placental and non-placental forms evolve in the same way, at the same time, and in different regions, are remote to say the least.
     
  • The humble opossum has been nominated as the ancestor of all mammals because it is supposed to be so “primitive,” having a relatively small brain and no “specialized” characteristics. But the opossum has thrived virtually unchanged in many parts of the world. In general, marsupials often are considered less “advanced” because they lack the complex internal reproductive system of placental mammals. However, they possess many other characteristics that could give them an edge over their placental counterparts. For instance, a female kangaroo can nourish two young ones of different ages at the same time, providing the appropriate formula from each teat. Unlike placental mammals, marsupials can suspend or abort the embryo deliberately if adverse conditions arise. And, of course, the pouch provides a superior place of protection for the young marsupial. Yes, marsupials are different, but they are not inferior.
     
  • The distribution of marsupials is not well-answered by evolutionary theories. According to Michael Pitman, “the most diverse fossil assemblies have been obtained from South America and, later (Pliocene), Australia” (1984, p. 206). That is, according to the fossil record, the marsupials already were well-defined as a distinct group before the separation of Australia from other continents. Thus, geographic separation cannot be as significant to their development as evolutionists like to think. An alternate, biblically based model is as follows:
    1. It is reasonable to suggest that God created the various kinds of marsupials. Hence, the many varieties of opossums, kangaroos, wallabies, and so on, most likely have arisen since the time of creation.
       
    2. There could be any number of reasons that God created both placental and non-placental forms. One possibility is that marsupials were created for a specific environment. For example, on the African savannas or North American plains, animals migrate to different areas according to the seasons, and range over huge tracts of land in search of better grazing. However, vegetation patterns in Australia do not allow such flexibility. The unique characteristics of marsupials that allow them to survive in a tough environment are indicative of good design, not blind evolution.
       
    3. Representatives of marsupial kinds went into the ark and were carried through the Flood. Any other varieties not in the ark became extinct with the Flood (and now exist only as fossils).
       
    4. After the Flood, marsupials may have migrated to Australia across land connections or narrow waterways. Perhaps there is a supernatural element involving the second point made above. That is, God, having created specially equipped creatures, may have directed them to settle in Australia in particular. If God can arrange for all the animals to go to Noah (Genesis 6:20), then He very well could assist and direct them in their migration from Ararat once they left the ark (Genesis 8:17).
       
    5. There is no need to postulate long periods of time for whole-scale movement of animal kinds over the Earth. Initial studies by Richard Culp show that there are minimal differences between many North American, European, and Asian varieties of certain plant and animal species (Culp, 1988). The lack of dissimilarities, and the occurrence of unique animal or plant assemblages in various parts of the world (not just Australia), may be evidence for a rapid resettlement in relatively recent times. This would be consistent with the Genesis account.

    REFERENCES

    Bartz, Paul A. (1989), “Questions and Answers,” Bible-Science Newsletter, 27[7]:12, July.
    Culp, G. Richard (1988), “The Geographical Distribution of Animals and Plants,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, 25[1]:24-27, June.
    Dobzhansky, Theodosius, F.J. Ayala, G.L. Stebbins, and J.W. Valentine (1977), Evolution (San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman).
    Pitman, Michael (1984), Adam and Evolution (London: Rider).
    Simpson, G.G. and W.S. Beck (1965), Life: An Introduction to Biology (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World), second edition.

A Glimpse of Encouragement by Kyle Butt, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2157

A Glimpse of Encouragement

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Those who labor in the Lord’s Kingdom understand that God deserves all the credit for any good work that is done. As Paul stated about his own labors: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6). In fact, in ministry situations, the far-reaching results of the labors are rarely even brought to the attention of those doing the work. But every now and then, workers in the Lord’s Kingdom are shown a tiny glimpse of the impact that the Lord is making with their materials. Such heartwarming glimpses have the potential to encourage workers in the church to “keep on keeping on.” Recently, we at Apologetics Press were blessed with the opportunity to catch such a glimpse. The following text is from an e-mail sent to our offices.
About a year ago I ordered 30 copies of the Truth Be Told to give to my son’s first grade class at a discounted price. After asking the school administration, they allowed me to deliver them on the last day of school and present it as a “present” from my son. This way every student got a copy. I also gave a copy to the school library, the principal, and my son’s teacher. Since then several other teachers have asked where to purchase these books....
The exciting part of this story just occurred a couple of weeks ago. One of the students, now in second grade, brought his copy of the book to school to discuss something in class about fossils. From my son, the teacher told the student that your book could not be true, but the student (who does not attend a church of Christ) informed him that “the book made more sense” than what the teacher had been teaching. It made me feel good that at least one child has been reading the book and that it seemed to be making an impact on his life. I happen to still have an extra copy of the book that I plan to give this teacher. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be able to afford the books to give to the students. It has made me and my son very proud of what has and may still come of that effort.
To God be the glory for all the good that is being done in His Kingdom. It thrills us to know that God is using our efforts to encourage others to stand for the truth.
Is there a way that you could use our materials to further the cause of Christ? Could you donate them to your child’s class? Could you send some books, tracts, or videos to the library down the street, or mass-mail them to those in your neighborhood? Could you put A.P. tracts on the racks in your church building, or send them in-bulk to summer camps?
It is our prayer that we can multiply our efforts so that “one child” reading our materials will become thousands of children and adults across the globe.

America’s Famine by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=3766

America’s Famine

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Unlike many nations in human history, America has never really known want. Even the Great Depression of the 1930s does not begin to compare with the famines of antiquity that devastated entire civilizations and resulted in the starvation of millions of people. With such extreme prosperity dominating the United States, the average American cannot even begin to imagine the kind of hunger that has characterized large segments of humanity throughout history. Who can even conceptualize eating one’s own children? Yet such has not been uncommon in world history (cf. 2 Kings 6:28-29). In an article that appeared in National Geographic magazine in 1917, Ralph Graves surveyed historical occurrences of famine all the way back to the Egyptian pharaohs. The portrait is horrifying. For example, Graves observed:
Probably in no other country in the world has a people been brought to such a low ebb of morality or become so completely lost to all semblance of rational humanity as in the series of famines which swept over Egypt during the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, under Mohammedan rule (p. 75).
Cats, dogs, and horses were extremely expensive, women abandoned their jewels as worthless, and desperate people resorted to cannibalism—even selling human flesh in the market place. Babies were kidnapped for food, if not eaten by their own parents. Even the graves were ransacked for food (p. 79). Savagery and moral degradation were the order of the day. A famine in 1069 in England was so severe that peasants, no longer able to find dogs and horses to eat, sold themselves into slavery in hopes of being fed by the master (p. 81). In 1314, a famine in England brought such misery and suffering that bodies lined the roadsides, everything imaginable was eaten (including dogs, cats, horses, and babies), and when new felons were cast into prison, starving inmates would tear them to pieces for food (p. 82). France was plagued with devastating famines from the Middle Ages to the Revolution resulting in the death of millions. Staple fare included grass, roots, white clay, and exhumed bodies. The potato famines of Ireland in 1822 and again in 1845 resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands.

“The pages of India’s history are black with the blotches of famine” (p. 86). From 1770 to 1900, 22 famines resulted in the death of 15 million. Likewise, China has been particularly susceptible to famine, with 45 million dying during four famines from 1810 to 1849. Russian peasants died by the thousands in famines of the late 19th and early 20th centuries (p. 89). During the 20th century, some 70 million people died from famines worldwide, including 30 million dying in China in the 1958 famine. Several famines afflicted the Soviet Union, including the Holodomor, a famine inflicted on Ukraine in 1932–33 by Stalin. Famine disaster struck both China and Bengal during World War II, while more recent famines include the Biafran famine in the 1960s, the disaster in Cambodia in the 1970s, the Ethiopian famine of 1984, and the North Korean famine of the 1990s.

Americans can hardly even contemplate the possibility that America could ever be subjected to such circumstances. Yet, the Bible teaches that when people reject God and His Word, they set themselves up for disaster. In contrast to these shocking accounts of a lack of minimal sustenance to maintain human life, consider the far more catastrophic effect of a famine of spiritual sustenance: the Word of God. When any civilization lacks access and attachment to God’s thinking and God’s directives, a truly severe famine will ensue. This dearth will, in turn, merit a corresponding physical famine. As God declared to the population of Amos’ day:
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12, emp. added).
This description bears a striking similarity to the conditions now plaguing America. While Americans wallow in their plenty, a vast plague of spiritual starvation has swept across the land. Hear the words of God through Jeremiah warning another nation 2,700 years ago:
The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it…. “Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good’” (Jeremiah 18:7-12, emp. added).
And hear the words of God through Moses to another nation 3,500 years ago: “I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows upon them. They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction” (Deuteronomy 32:23-24). We must ask this sobering question: Will America’s spiritual famine facilitate national disaster?
 

REFERENCES

“Famine,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine#cite_note-44.

Graves, Ralph (1917), “Fearful Famines of the Past,” National Geographic, 32[1]:69-90, July, http://books.google.com/books?id= dqt-AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA69&dq=fearful+famines+of+the+past&hl= en&ei=1oqTTJmPAcaAlAfM9YCrCg&sa=X&oi= book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved= 0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=fearful%20famines%20of% 20the%20past&f=false.

From Jim McGuiggan... Betrothal and Matthew 1.19

Betrothal and Matthew 1.19

Scholars of 2nd Temple Judaism are divided on what to make of the Mishnah (compiled around 200-220 AD) as a witness to what was practiced in the days of Jesus or Paul.
Jacob Neusner, SJD Cohen and Edward Sanders while they would allow some connection say it can’t be relied on. Louis Feldman and Herbert Danby who gave us The Mishnah in English took a more positive view of it. Danby says: “It is a matter of extreme difficulty to decide what historical value we should attach to any tradition recorded in the Mishnah” but he goes on to say we should give it some credence for the debates recorded in the Mishnah were attempts to justify established traditions (xiv-xv). Feldman is more assured and Lawrence Schiffman is even more assured.
I want to make the point that when I quote or allude to one of these ancient documents I’m aware that there is some debate about the reliability of the claim made or implied in the quotation.
On the topic of marriage and divorce, these scholars tell us, there was no dispute about the practice of divorce! There was no dispute about the need for a bill of divorce! There was no dispute about the need to give a bill of divorce to a betrothed wife! What you see in the Mishnah is brisk and unsettled arguments relating to the nature and delivery of the bill of divorce and not about the need for one.
The debate in the 1st century that was central (the NT bears witness in support of Jewish studies) was the debate between the followers of Shammai and Hillel. Deuteronomy 24 allows divorce but what was meant by “some indecency”? Shammai and his followers said “unchastity”, Hillel and his followers said “for any cause” and later the famous Akiba said, “Even if he found someone fairer than she.” [Mishnah, Gittin 9.10]
Shammai (died around 30 AD) and Hillel (died around 10-20 AD) were two revered sages who flourished a few years before Jesus. So when in Matthew 19:3 we hear of Pharisees asking Jesus if it was lawful to put away a wife “for any cause” we aren’t surprised.
The question was not: “Is it lawful to divorce your wife without giving her a bill of divorcement?” As far as we can tell from the sources no Jew, claiming to be part of Jewish society, would have dreamed of divorcing his wife without a document—not in light of Deuteronomy 24:1.
It isn’t clear to me that Deuteronomy 24 refers to Jewish men simply sending their wives out of their houses on to the street though they may have been doing this. What is certain is that the text calls for a bill of divorce that proves she is no longer a married wife and this gives her the opportunity to be married to another.
The Mishnah bears witness to ceaseless debate on what the divorce document should say, where it should be signed, from where and how it should be delivered and to whom—and more. What is not debated is the need for a divorce writ.
This was true for betrothed wives. The sources tell us that at betrothal a woman became the man’s “wife”. This doesn’t surprise us for that is what the woman is called in Deuteronomy 22:23-24 and sexual crime with her is a capital crime. If she went along with the actions of the sexual partner (by not crying for help when she could) she is guilty of adultery and the death penalty is pronounced. Such a pronouncement is not given if a virgin who is not betrothed is taken by some man (22:28-29; Exodus 22:16-17). The betrothal makes the difference—the betrothed becomes a “legal wife” though the “one flesh” rights come later (see 1 Corinthians 7:4).
The Mishnah [Kiddushin—Betrothals, 1:1] says the betrothed woman can be freed from her “husband” by his death or by a bill of divorce and in Ketuboth 4.2. we hear of betrothed “widows”. “If a man gave his daughter in betrothal and she was divorced, or if he gave her in betrothal and she was left a widow…”
This gives us some background to Matthew 1:18-20. Mary is said to be “betrothed”, to be Joseph’s “wife” and to have a “husband”. Joseph feels compelled to divorce her and wanted to do it as quietly as such a thing could be done because he didn’t want to make a spectacle of her. The word “apoluo” (send away) is used in numerous ways but in marital contexts it “means” divorce. [A word “means” what the speaker intends it to mean and the word “apoluo” is used in and out of the NT in marital contexts to refer to divorce.]
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Gary... Bible Reading May 18



Bible Reading  

May 18

The World English Bible

May 18
Joshua 17, 18

Jos 17:1 This was the lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. As for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan.
Jos 17:2 So this was for the rest of the children of Manasseh according to their families: for the children of Abiezer, for the children of Helek, for the children of Asriel, for the children of Shechem, for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families.
Jos 17:3 But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
Jos 17:4 They came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, "Yahweh commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers." Therefore according to the commandment of Yahweh he gave them an inheritance among the brothers of their father.
Jos 17:5 Ten parts fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan;
Jos 17:6 because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh.
Jos 17:7 The border of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethath, which is before Shechem. The border went along to the right hand, to the inhabitants of En Tappuah.
Jos 17:8 The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh; but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim.
Jos 17:9 The border went down to the brook of Kanah, southward of the brook. These cities belonged to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook, and ended at the sea.
Jos 17:10 Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea was his border. They reached to Asher on the north, and to Issachar on the east.
Jos 17:11 Manasseh had three heights in Issachar, in Asher Beth Shean and its towns, and Ibleam and its towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns.
Jos 17:12 Yet the children of Manasseh couldn't drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
Jos 17:13 It happened, when the children of Israel had grown strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, and didn't utterly drive them out.
Jos 17:14 The children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, "Why have you given me just one lot and one part for an inheritance, since I am a great people, because Yahweh has blessed me so far?"
Jos 17:15 Joshua said to them, "If you are a great people, go up to the forest, and clear land for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim; since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you."
Jos 17:16 The children of Joseph said, "The hill country is not enough for us. All the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are in Beth Shean and its towns, and those who are in the valley of Jezreel."
Jos 17:17 Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, "You are a great people, and have great power. You shall not have one lot only;
Jos 17:18 but the hill country shall be yours. Although it is a forest, you shall cut it down, and it's farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong."
Jos 18:1 The whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves together at Shiloh, and set up the Tent of Meeting there. The land was subdued before them.
Jos 18:2 Seven tribes remained among the children of Israel, which had not yet divided their inheritance.
Jos 18:3 Joshua said to the children of Israel, "How long will you neglect to go in to possess the land, which Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has given you?
Jos 18:4 Appoint for yourselves three men from each tribe. I will send them, and they shall arise, walk through the land, and describe it according to their inheritance; and they shall come to me.
Jos 18:5 They shall divide it into seven portions. Judah shall live in his borders on the south, and the house of Joseph shall live in their borders on the north.
Jos 18:6 You shall survey the land into seven parts, and bring the description here to me; and I will cast lots for you here before Yahweh our God.
Jos 18:7 For the Levites have no portion among you; for the priesthood of Yahweh is their inheritance. Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan eastward, which Moses the servant of Yahweh gave them."
Jos 18:8 The men arose and went. Joshua commanded those who went to survey the land, saying, "Go walk through the land, survey it, and come again to me. I will cast lots for you here before Yahweh in Shiloh."
Jos 18:9 The men went and passed through the land, and surveyed it by cities into seven portions in a book. They came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh.
Jos 18:10 Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before Yahweh. There Joshua divided the land to the children of Israel according to their divisions.
Jos 18:11 The lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families. The border of their lot went out between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.
Jos 18:12 Their border on the north quarter was from the Jordan. The border went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up through the hill country westward. It ended at the wilderness of Beth Aven.
Jos 18:13 The border passed along from there to Luz, to the side of Luz (the same is Bethel), southward. The border went down to Ataroth Addar, by the mountain that lies on the south of Beth Horon the lower.
Jos 18:14 The border extended, and turned around on the west quarter southward, from the mountain that lies before Beth Horon southward; and ended at Kiriath Baal (the same is Kiriath Jearim), a city of the children of Judah. This was the west quarter.
Jos 18:15 The south quarter was from the farthest part of Kiriath Jearim. The border went out westward, and went out to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah.
Jos 18:16 The border went down to the farthest part of the mountain that lies before the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is in the valley of Rephaim northward. It went down to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of the Jebusite southward, and went down to En Rogel.
Jos 18:17 It extended northward, went out at En Shemesh, and went out to Geliloth, which is over against the ascent of Adummim. It went down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben.
Jos 18:18 It passed along to the side over against the Arabah northward, and went down to the Arabah.
Jos 18:19 The border passed along to the side of Beth Hoglah northward; and the border ended at the north bay of the Salt Sea, at the south end of the Jordan. This was the south border.
Jos 18:20 The Jordan was its border on the east quarter. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the borders around it, according to their families.
Jos 18:21 Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz,
Jos 18:22 Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel,
Jos 18:23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah,
Jos 18:24 Chephar Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba; twelve cities with their villages.
Jos 18:25 Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth,
Jos 18:26 Mizpeh, Chephirah, Mozah,
Jos 18:27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah,

Jos 18:28 Zelah, Eleph, the Jebusite (the same is Jerusalem), Gibeath, and Kiriath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.

May 18, 19
John 2

Joh 2:1 The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Jesus' mother was there.
Joh 2:2 Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage.
Joh 2:3 When the wine ran out, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no wine."
Joh 2:4 Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come."
Joh 2:5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever he says to you, do it."
Joh 2:6 Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece.
Joh 2:7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the water pots with water." They filled them up to the brim.
Joh 2:8 He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast." So they took it.
Joh 2:9 When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn't know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom,
Joh 2:10 and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!"
Joh 2:11 This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
Joh 2:12 After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days.
Joh 2:13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Joh 2:14 He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting.
Joh 2:15 He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers' money, and overthrew their tables.
Joh 2:16 To those who sold the doves, he said, "Take these things out of here! Don't make my Father's house a marketplace!"
Joh 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will eat me up."
Joh 2:18 The Jews therefore answered him, "What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?"
Joh 2:19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
Joh 2:20 The Jews therefore said, "Forty-six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days?"
Joh 2:21 But he spoke of the temple of his body.
Joh 2:22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
Joh 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did.
Joh 2:24 But Jesus didn't trust himself to them, because he knew everyone,
Joh 2:25 and because he didn't need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.