6/19/15

From Mark Copeland... Evangelism Made Personal Building Courage To Tell Others About Christ (Overcoming The Fear Of Rejection)



Evangelism Made Personal

Building Courage To Tell Others About Christ

(Overcoming The Fear Of Rejection)
After lack of motivation, a major reason why more people do not engage in personal evangelism is the fear of rejection. The fear of being turned down, laughed at, or looked upon by others as "religious fanatics" has hindered many Christians in their efforts to tell others about Christ.
How does one overcome the fear of rejection? In this lesson I would like to share several thoughts that have been helpful to me, the first being...

TRY TO PLEASE GOD, NOT MAN

We should keep in mind the words of the apostle Paul, who in Ga 1:10 wrote:
"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ."
If we are serious in our desire to be the servants of Christ, then we must make sure it is God we are trying to please, and not man. This is not to suggest that we give no thought as to how to be more pleasing in our demeanor or presentation of the gospel, but it does mean that we should be more concerned about what God thinks, rather than what people may think.

PRAY FOR BOLDNESS

Paul was one who wrote about his own fears when it came to sharing the gospel with others (1Co 2:1-3). But he believed in the power of prayer to provide boldness and solicited the prayers of others as well in this regard (Ep 6:18-19). In this he was not alone, for when Peter and John had been threatened, they returned to their company and together prayed for boldness, and the Lord answered their prayer (Ac 4:29-31)!
So as we prepare ourselves to engage in personal evangelism, if we find ourselves lacking courage, then let our preparation include diligent prayer for boldness. Even as you walk up to the door, or approach someone you plan to invite to services or to offer a Bible study, say a short prayer asking God to give you the boldness necessary to say what you have planned to say.
The suggestions which follow are based on material presented by Brent Hunter in "Personal Work 101"which I found to be very practical...

STEPS IN BUILDING COURAGE TO TELL OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST

STEP ONE - Start out sharing Christ in a way which will not bring you face to face with people.
Select some tract or tracts you feel are good and carry them in your pocket, purse, or car.
  • When you go into a public restaurant, leave it on your table with your tip.
  • When writing letters to friends, relatives, drop a tract in the envelope. Include one even in the bills you pay!
  • Leave a tract in a phone booth, at a laundrymat, on the seat of a taxi or bus, in a restroom.
What happens to the tract may no longer concern you; you've sown the seed and done what you are supposed to do. It may be thrown in the waste paper basket and someone else may fish it out and take it home and his neighbor may come over and read it. I know of a custodian who was cleaning a bathroom, saw a tract and read it, later obeying the gospel and is today a gospel preacher! Another case involved a woman who was visiting her daughter, saw a tract on the coffee table that had been sent through the mail, read it and contacted the person who sent it, later obeying the gospel (even though her daughter, the originial recipient of the tract, had no interest in it!). This is one way that the written word lasts longer than the spoken word!
STEP TWO - Let your light shine naturally when around non-Christians (Mt 5:16).
Not to make a spectacle of yourself, but to quietly confess through your actions and normal speech that you are a Christian. There is a difference between doing things to be seen of men (condemned by Jesus), and doing things that are seen by men (commanded by Jesus). Some examples:
  • When you eat in public places, offer thanks for your food. This can be done silently, with a bowed head.
  • Keep a Bible with you at all times and don't be ashamed to be seen reading it. At work on your desk, keep a Bible; in your purse, pocket or coat, keep a New Testament and read it as you have opportunity.
  • In our conversation we can identify ourselves with Christ. Casually make mention of things which indicate your faith in God. A friend at work has confided in you with a problem; tell him in all sincerity, "I will keep you in my prayers." In everyday conversation you might mention wome pertinent point made by the preacher, Bible class teacher, or what you gleaned from your own private study. In making plans with others, use the expression "Lord willing..." Give credit to the Lord when the occasion calls for it ("I thank the Lord for my good health").
Casual conduct and expressions like these (when done sincerely) not only help to build courage, they often serve as "door-openers" for people to inquire about your faith.
STEP THREE - Identify who you are and personally hand your friend (prospect) a tract, cassette or video.
You are not directly teaching yet (only using "indirect" teaching methods), but you are beginning to face people. Some examples of how this can be done:
  • Give a tract to a friend and say, "This is a short explanation of the gospel of Christ. We've been friends for sometime now and I would like for you to read this and tell me what you think."
  • Ask them if they are interested in studying the Bible on their own time, at their own pace, in their home, through a correspondence course.
  • Offer to give them a cassette or video tape of a sermon and ask them if they would be interested in hearing what the Bible says about (any subject)...

Conclusion

At this point you are actively involved in sharing the gospel with others, even though you may only use "indirect" methods. From here, you may decide to try to set up home studies to be taught by yourself, or to set up studies for others to teach. In either case, you are doing much for the Lord!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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God Cannot be Tempted...But Jesus Was? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=3580

God Cannot be Tempted...But Jesus Was?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

According to Scripture, Jesus was Deity in the flesh (John 1:1-5,14; 20:28). He was not sired by man; He was not conceived naturally by woman (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Rather, Jesus came from heaven (John 3:13; 6:38), proved His “mighty God” Messiahship (Isaiah 9:6) through a variety of verified miracles (John 20:30-31; cf. Lyons and Butt, 2006), accepted worship (Matthew 14:33; John 9:38), and claimed a unity with God the Father that even His enemies understood was a profession of Deity (John 10:30,33). Some, however, question the Bible’s consistency of Jesus being God. The argument goes something like this (cf. Wells, 2010): The Bible declares that Satan tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1), and that Jesus was “in all points tempted as we are” (Hebrews 4:15). Yet, the Bible also declares that “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13). Therefore, the Bible (allegedly) contradicts itself regarding the nature of Jesus. How could He be God, if God cannot be tempted?

First, Christians freely admit that contemplation of the nature of God is by no means a simple mental exercise. We were created; He has always been (Psalm 90:2). We have flesh and bones; God is Spirit (John 4:24). We are limited in power; He is omnipotent (Genesis 17:1). We can become knowledgeable about some things; God’s knowledge has always been infinite—“too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6). The apostle Paul expressed his amazement of God to the Christians in Rome, saying, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (11:33). It is always a humbling mental struggle for mere man to contemplate the wondrous attributes of God.

Still, however, the legitimate question remains: How could Jesus be God, if He was tempted while on Earth? The answer to this question is basically the same for a variety of questions that one may ask about the nature of Jesus. How could Jesus not know something if He was God (e.g., the time of His Second Coming; Mark 13:32)? How could God the Father be greater than Jesus if Jesus was “equal with God” (John 14:28; John 5:18; Philippians 2:6)? The answer to these and similar questions must be understood in light of what the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi concerning Jesus’ self-limitation during His time on Earth. According to Paul, Christ
being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation [He “emptied Himself”NASB], taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:6-8, emp. added).
While on Earth in the flesh, Jesus was voluntarily in a subordinate position to the Father. Christ “emptied Himself” (Philippians 2:7; He “made Himself nothing”—NIV). Unlike Adam and Eve, who made an attempt to seize equality with God (Genesis 3:5), Jesus, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:47), humbled Himself, and obediently accepted the role of a servant. But, as Wayne Jackson observed, Jesus’ earthly limitations “were not the consequence of a less-than-God nature; rather, they were the result of a self-imposed submission reflecting the exercise of His sovereign will” (1995, emp. added). In the form of man, Jesus assumed a position of complete subjection to the Father, and exercised His divine attributes only at the Father’s bidding (cf. John 8:26,28-29) [Wycliffe, 1985]. As A.H. Strong similarly commented, Jesus “resigned not the possession, nor yet entirely the use, but rather the independent exercise, of the divine attributes” (1907, p. 703).

Admittedly, as with Deity’s very nature, understanding Jesus as being fully human in addition to His divine nature is not a simple concept to grasp. When Jesus came to Earth, He added humanity to His divinity—He was made “in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). He moved from the spiritual realm to put on flesh (John 1:14) and became subject to such things as hunger, thirst, weariness, and pain. Our holy God chose to come into this world as a helpless babe, Who, for the first time in His eternal existence, “increased in wisdom” as a child (Luke 2:52). In order to become the perfect sacrifice and Great High Priest, Jesus willingly submitted Himself to temptation and death. As the writer of Hebrews noted: “[I]n all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (2:17-18).

In short, the Bible’s depiction of Jesus as God incarnated is not contradictory. As the immortal, invisible, pre-incarnate Word (1 Timothy 1:17), He was God (John 1:1). When the Word put on flesh, He was still by nature God (John 10:30,33; 20:28), though He willingly “humbled Himself” and “made Himself of no reputation” (2:6-8) in order to become the tempted, but perfect Man. Indeed, He “who knew no sin” became “sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

REFERENCES

Jackson, Wayne (1995), “Did Jesus Exist in the Form of God While on Earth?” Reason & Revelation, 15[3]:21-22, March,  http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=10&article=354.

Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2006), “The Very Works that I Do Bear Witness of Me,” Reason & Revelation, 26[3]:17-23, March, http://www.apolo geticspress.org/articles/2857.

Strong, A.H. (1907), Systematic Theology (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell).

Wells, Steve (2010), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/tempt_god.html.

Wycliffe Bible Commentary (1985), Electronic Database: Biblesoft.

Design Rules by Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2182

Design Rules

by Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by one of A.P.’s auxiliary staff scientists. Dr. Fausz holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and serves as liaison to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. (All images in Dr. Fausz’ article are Courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov.)]
One of the most fascinating areas of modern engineering research is the development of what has become known as MicroElectroMechanical Systems, or MEMS. Imagine a closed-cycle steam engine no bigger than a pinhead that operates on a single drop of water (e.g., Frechette, et al., 2003, pp. 335-344), or mirror mechanisms for micro-optical systems with structures that can be obscured by a single dust mite (McWhorter, 2001; McWhorter, 2006). These devices are so miniscule that their operational performance has to be verified through a microscope. MEMS devices are used to actuate airbags in automobiles, precisely control optics in digital projectors and video cameras, and perform a variety of other functions (see “SAMPLES Program,” 2005; “MEMS Technology,” 2006). Yet, we have barely scratched the surface of possible applications for MEMS.
spider mite
Spider mite on mirror assembly
The fabrication process for MEMS devices is the epitome of exacting, painstaking effort, requiring the highest levels of intricacy and precision. Built on technology developed to fabricate integrated circuits, the procedures for building MEMS must follow methodical rules and be carried out in a tightly controlled environment. This requires very expensive, high fidelity robotic assembly lines operating in clean rooms with extremely low contaminant concentrations (one speck of dust could be the proverbial monkey wrench for these mechanisms). As in the case of micro-chips, MEMS fabrication controls must be followed strictly for the devices to have any chance of carrying out their design functions once their fabrication is complete (“SAMPLES Program,” 2005).
Thus, in the design, fabrication, and operation of MEMS devices, it is clear that “small” is not synonymous with “simple” or “easy to understand or fabricate.” As seen through the microscope, MEMS parts are easily as complex as their counterparts on the larger scale, if not more so. Furthermore, due to the strict requirements imposed by the meticulous fabrication process, the MEMS designer must exercise much more care in laying out the configuration of his design than would a designer working on a larger scale.
clutch
The incredible MEMS clutch mechanism. The miniscule gears are 50 microns across. Keep in mind that there are 25,400 microns to an inch.
To aid the designer in accounting for the tight constraints of a particular MEMS fabrication process, the developers of that process typically provide him a set of design rules to follow in laying out the design. In turn, these rules usually are incorporated within the fabrication process itself through software that checks designs against these rules, and will not admit a design that violates them (“SAMPLES Program,” 2005). So, we see that the design rules and the fabrication process work together to produce devices that ideally will fulfill the desire of the designer throughout its operational life. The design rules characterize fundamental aspects of the fabrication process and, thus, leave an indelible imprint of those process characteristics on each and every new design. These design rules, then, represent a bridge between the mind of the designer and the finished product, in a sense “guiding” the design through the fabrication process.
It is amazing that many of the engineers and scientists who have worked to make MEMS technology a reality believe that the vast, intricate, mechanical workings of the Universe, a Universe that appears to conform to immutable natural laws, came about through mostly random processes. They have witnessed the microscopic complexity of MEMS, yet they admit reasoning that suggests the galaxies, solar systems, planets, and stars evolved from “simpler” particles of matter that somehow came into existence at the beginning of time. They hold these beliefs in spite of their understanding of the painstaking process that is required to design and fabricate a single MEMS mechanism.
transmission
Fully-functioning MEMS transmission
Scientists continue to discover with increasing clarity that the elementary particles of matter that make up everything in the observable Universe, though extremely small, are far from “simple.” In his book, A Brief History of Time, well-known physicist Stephen Hawking states:
Up to about twenty years ago, it was thought that protons and neutrons were “elementary” particles, but experiments in which protons were collided with other protons or electrons at high speeds indicated that they were in fact made up of smaller particles. These particles were named quarks by the Caltech physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who won the Nobel prize in 1969 for his work on them.... So the question is: What are the truly elementary particles, the basic building blocks from which everything is made? (1988, p. 65).
Since science so far has been incapable of even identifying the most elementary components of the Universe, it is unreasonable to conclude that “small” means simple or easy. Given this unexpected complexity at the sub-microscopic (quantum) level, it is incredible that otherwise reasoned thinkers would conclude that everything we observe resulted from random processes.
vernier
Close-up view of one vernier; the teeth are two microns wide and the spaces between them measure four microns.
Likewise, small structures in biological study exhibit extremely high levels of order, complexity, and information content. Now that scientists actually are able to observe single-cellular life, accounts of the immense complexity in these “simple” life forms are becoming increasingly abundant. Consider Dean Overman’s summary of the research of Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe in his monograph, A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization:
ratchet
Sitting atop some MEMS gears, this spider mite is the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Because there are thousands of different enzymes with different functions, to produce the simplest living cell, Hoyle calculated that about 2,000 enzymes were needed with each one performing a specific task to form a single bacterium like E. coli. Computing the probability of all these different enzymes forming in one place at one time to produce a single bacterium, Hoyle and his colleague, Chandra Wickramasinghe, calculated the odds at 1 in 1040,000. This number is so vast that any mathematician would agree that it amounts to total impossibility.... [T]he total atoms in the observable universe are estimated to be only approximately 1080 (1997, pp. 58-59, emp. added).
The performance observed in such a system (a bacterium) is so intricate and complex on such a small scale, that so far humans are incapable of duplicating it—MEMS is about as close as science has come to doing so. Yet, in stark contradistinction, many scientists seem to accept that a “simple” life form must have organized by accident and, in turn, given rise to all of the life that we observe on Earth.
ratchet mechanism
Complex MEMS ratchet mechanism
The complexity inherent in MEMS, especially in comparison to larger scale systems, suggests a more natural conclusion regarding the existence of the Universe. If one were looking through a microscope in a science class, or working in a laboratory, and unexpectedly saw tiny gears turning or pistons moving, what would he conclude? This scenario actually has been used as a story line in multiple science fiction shows, and the conclusion reached was not that the microscopic machines had evolved naturally through random processes. Besides the fact that such a conclusion might make for a rather boring story, it is simply an unsound conclusion under the circumstances. Complexity on such a small scale, as we have noted, is not easy to design, so why would we ever conclude that it came about by accident? As in the science fiction scenario depicted, the intricate complexity that we observe on such a small scale is not only evidence of a designer, but also evidence of an incredibly advanced design capability—not of undirected random processes.

Piston
The world’s smallest functioning triple-piston steam engine. One piston is five microns across or 1/5080 of an inch.
The fact that the Universe operates under seemingly immutable natural laws is further evidence of a designer. We have noted that MEMS designers utilize design rules to ensure the viability of their designs. While science has not fully characterized the rules that govern the Universe, or even proved their existence, scientists firmly believe in them. Countless observations and experiments have demonstrated that the Universe appears to behave in repeatable and predictable ways, indicating that there is an inherent yet unobservable constraint being enforced on that behavior. Similar to MEMSdesign rules, the natural laws of the Universe determine what structures can viably exist in the system (Conservation of Matter and Energy), how they will behave (Causality, Laws of Motion, Relativity, etc.), and how long they will last (Thermodynamics). It simply is no more reasonable to assume that random processes gave rise to the behavior of the Universe than to assume that random fabrication processes could give rise to operational MEMS devices.

drive gear
Drive gear chain and linkages, with a grain of pollen (top right) and coagulated red blood cells (top left, lower right) to demonstrate scale.
Indeed, experience with MEMS illustrates that the ordered complexity we observe at every level within the Universe, but especially on the small scale, is indisputable evidence of a Designer whose capability far exceeds human accomplishment. MEMS research is impressive and fascinating, but pales in comparison to what we observe at the microscopic level, and what we theorize at the sub-atomic level. The science and engineering of mankind has not come anywhere close to duplicating the intricate functional complexity that exists in the realm of nature’s small scale. The Designer responsible for these micro- mechanisms fully understands the fabrication process parameters that are required to bring them into existence and sustain their operation, and has used that process to its utmost effectiveness in the creation of everything we observe. Furthermore, the “design rules” that have been employed to accomplish this are nothing less than the natural laws that, in turn, continue to constrain and direct the ongoing operation of His design.


REFERENCES

Frechette, L.G., C. Lee, S. Arslan, and Y.C. Liu (2003), “Design of a Microfabricated Rankine Cycle Steam Turbine for Power Generation,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Mechanical Engineering Congress, International Meeting on Energy Conversion Engineering, pp. 335-344, November.
Hawking, Stephen (1988), A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (New York: Bantam).
McWhorter, Paul (2001), “Intelligent Multipurpose Micromachines Made at Sandia,” Sandia National Laboratories, [On-line], URL: http://www.sandia.gov/media/micro.htm.
McWhorter, Paul (2006), MEMS Image Gallery, [On-line], URL:http://www.memx.com/image_gallery.htm.
MEMS Technology” (2006), [On-line], URL: http://www.memx.com/technology.htm.
Overman, Dean (1997), A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield).
SAMPLES Program” (2005), Sandia National Laboratories, [On-line], URL:http://mems.sandia.gov/samples.


Are Blind Cave Fish a Good Example of Organic Evolution? by Branyon May, Ph.D. Bert Thompson, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=166

Are Blind Cave Fish a Good Example of Organic Evolution?

by Branyon May, Ph.D.
Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

Q.
Evolutionists often use as a proof of their theory the intriguing case of fish that live in deep-water caves and that have lost their sight permanently, yet still function quite well. Are blind cave fish a good example of organic evolution in action?
A.
Found in the subterranean caverns of the world are rare, unique, and sometimes exotic creatures. Numerous varieties of bats, spiders, insects, and other curious creatures populate these damp, cool environments. Hidden from the Sun, weather, and intrusion of man, these caverns represent a truly intriguing habitat. Another animal also dwells in these cavernous environments—the cave fish. Restricted to the dark confines of the globe, cave fish possess unique qualities that differ from the surface varieties generally seen. The most remarkable distinction between cave fish and their surface counterparts is a loss of visionary processes. There are several other interesting differences, but this particular disparity is the most commonly referenced in support of evolutionary theory. How did this difference come into existence? And why has it continued? These are the underlying questions that need to be answered.
Lamarckianism (as it is known today) was the most prominent theory preceding Darwinian evolution. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck is remembered most notably for his theory of the “inheritance of acquired variations” (Ruse, 1979, p. 8). This theory holds that the acquired physiological traits of the parent are passed down to the offspring. This proposal, however, has been known to be false for more than a century. The classic evolutionary example of this theory is the giraffe. Supposedly, as the scarcity of food increased, the giraffe was forced to extend its neck higher and higher to reach diminishing food sources. Over the ensuing generations, the giraffe subsequently developed a longer neck, due to constant straining and stretching—a ridiculous idea, to be sure.
Yet some in the past attempted to apply this same type of “reasoning” to the cave fish situation in a Lamarckian scenario which suggested that through a natural event (such as a flood or terrain upheaval), a population of creatures, including fish, found itself geographically separated and isolated in a new environment—specifically, a cave. As they continued to live in this cave, the fish physically lost the use of their eyes, perhaps through injury or muscle atrophy. When the fish eventually spawned, the young possessed the same physical defects that the parents had acquired. Although such an explanation made for a good “just-so” story, the Lamarckian theory eventually was rejected by the scientists after Darwin’s day because it did not fit the available facts.
A convenient and rather enlightening illustration to better relate the absurdity (if it is not already apparent) of Lamarck’s theory can be made by comparing your father, your siblings, and you. If, for some unfortunate reason, your father were to lose an appendage (a finger or an arm, for instance), this loss would not be passed along to either your siblings or to you. While the accident would affect your father’s life significantly, it would not have any bearing on the physical appearance of his future offspring. But the question then springs to mind, “Exactly how do children obtain their appearances?”
Certainly, children do possess both maternal and paternal characteristics. Why is this the case? Through the study of DNA and its genetic coding, the process of inheritance and expression of traits can be described scientifically. The physical appearance of a child is ultimately the result of his or her genetic makeup, which itself is the product of the combined genes received from the parents. An old saying correctly expresses the matter: “It’s in your genes.” Technically, a gene is defined as a “self-replicating unit of heredity; a portion of DNA (i.e., a sequence of nucleotide units) that encodes a protein” (Schwartz, 1999, p. 406, parenthetical item in orig.). As the definition states, genes are portions of the DNA strand. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) contains the genetic coding that forms a sort of “blueprint” for the design of the organism. On a single strand of DNA, there can be numerous portions (known as genes), each of which assists in the design of the body plan. Gene expression is responsible for the visible attributes of an organism (known as the phenotype), which is the end result of the expression of one’s DNA. Likewise, in cave fish, the resulting blindness among the populations is an effect of genetic mutations, and not a simple transference of an injury or organ loss.
The importance of understanding the role of genetics in this situation is obvious. First, we need to be accurate scientifically. Second, such accuracy lays the groundwork for understanding the true progression that is taking place in this example of cave fish. Any genetic mutation can be classified into one of three groups: good, bad, and neutral. Bad mutations, as the name plainly implies, are detrimental to the affected organism. As long ago as 1950, Hermann J. Muller, Nobel laureate in genetics, observed: “The great majority of mutations, certainly well over 99%, are harmful in some way” (1950, 38:35). Fifty years later, nothing much had changed. The renowned geneticist of Stanford University, Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, who is head of the International Human Genome Diversity Project, wrote: “Genetic mutations are spontaneous, chance changes, which are rarely beneficial, and more often have no effect, or a deleterious one” (2000, p. 176, emp. added).
Such harmful mutations affect their host, leading almost exclusively to its demise. For an epigean (surface-dwelling) organism, the loss of sight would be considered a bad mutation. But for a hypogean (underground) organism, this does not present the same problematic scenario. In complete darkness, eyesight is basically a moot point, and at worst would be considered simply a neutral mutation. Neutral mutations, however, are of no use to the evolutionist since they (to use Dr. Cavalli-Sforza’s words) “have no effect.” Occasionally, mutations do occur that are beneficial to survival. But those are rare indeed. Almost thirty-five years ago, Theodosius Dobzhansky, the famous evolutionary geneticist of the Rockefeller University, admitted that favorable mutations amount to less than 1% of all mutations that occur (as quoted in Davidheiser, 1969, p. 209). Once again, not much has changed. The man who is arguably the world’s most eminent evolutionary taxonomist, Ernst Mayr (professor emeritus at Harvard), discussed this very point in his 2001 book, What Evolution Is, when he wrote (with a bit of understatement): “...[T]he occurrence of beneficial mutations is rather rare” (p. 98). Rare indeed!
Furthermore, the point must be stressed that although these mutations may be beneficial to the survival of the organism, they are still defects in the genetic code—a corruption that represents loss of information. Evolution does not require “just” mutations; it requires mutations that produce new information. As Dr. Cavalli-Sforza remarked: “Evolution also results from the accumulation of new information. In the case of a biological mutation, new information is provided by an error of genetic transmission (i.e., a change in the DNA during its transmission from parent to child)” [p. 176, emp. added, parenthetical comment in orig.]. In theory, beneficial mutations add “new information.” But in practice that is not the case. As Jonathan Sarfati noted: “If evolution from goo to you were true, we should expect to find countless information-adding mutations. But we have not even found one” (2002, emp. in orig.).
To further establish the genetic mechanism by which cave fish lose their eyesight, it is interesting to point out that a similar result can be obtained experimentally. Through the manipulation of a group of genes known as the homeobox or Hox cluster, scientists can induce the mutation of ectopic (abnormally positioned) eyes. The eye structures have been found to grow in antenna, leg, and wing tissues. These eyes, like the eye structures of the cave fish, are non-functioning entities. These laboratory-induced structures are practically complete, and are “morphologically normal with normal photoreceptors, lens, cone and pigment cells,” according to Walter Gehring, an evolutionary expert in Hox gene mutations (see Gould, 2002, pp. 1124-1125). Although the physical structures are constructed successfully, the eye fails to possess the necessary neural “wiring” to function properly (Gould, p. 1125). Yet, the mutational precedence for such an occurrence is well documented.
Two scientists, Yoshiyuki Yamamoto and William Jeffery, have been involved in specialized research on the eye formation of the cave fish specimen, Astyanax mexicanus. This particular species of teleost (bony fish) possesses both epigean and hypogean forms that enabled the team to perform experiments on the blind cave fish, using the surface form as the control specimen. Yamamoto and Jeffery have begun to establish some of the steps in the formation of the fish’s eye, from the embryonic stage to the adult stage. “Although adult cave fish lack functional eyes, eye formation is initiated during embryogenesis. The lens vesicle is formed but later degenerates, and the cornea, iris, and other optic tissues are absent or rudimentary” (2000, 289:631). The apoptosis (programmed death) of the lens cells occurs prior to the degeneration of any other tissue. Yamamoto and Jeffery observed:
The optic cup and neural retina are formed in cave fish, but the retinal layers are disorganized, growth is retarded, and photoreceptor cells do not differentiate. The degenerate eye sinks into the orbit and is covered by a flap of skin (289:631).
As a result of their research, these two scientists have concluded that the lens plays a dominant role in the subsequent development of the eye’s entire structure. To prove their hypothesis, a lens from the “eyed” variety was transplanted into the eye of the blind variety. After 8 days “a larger eye was detected on the transplant side,” and after 2 months “a large eye (restored eye) with a distinct pupil was present.... Sections of the restored eye showed an anterior chamber, cornea, iris, and lens” (289:631, parenthetical item in orig.). In the final analysis, Yamamoto and Jeffery concluded: “[T]he results show that the cave fish lens has lost the ability to promote eye development” (289:632). In other words, the data show that the blindness found in cave fish is a product of a genetic mutation affecting the fish’s lens. Peter Mathers, a developmental biologist, summed up the results well when he said: “It’s possible you are looking at a single gene defect that has caused a drastic developmental change” (as quoted in Pennisi, 2000, 289:523, emp. added).
But that has not kept some evolutionists from claiming that the concept of blind cave fish supports their theory. As one news report stated: “Millions of years ago it had eyes; but now, soon after it starts growing in the egg, the eyes start to degenerate and the fish are born blind” (see “Blind Fish...,” 2000, emp. added). However, nowhere in the scientific experiments is there evidence that lends itself to an ancient timeline of descent. The small genetic changes (microevolution) that can be observed are wrongly assumed to be the foundation from which macroevolution emanates.
First, notice that no new speciation has occurred due to this mutation: the species Astyanax mexicanus can be either the “eyed” form or the “eyeless” form. It is refreshing to note that even biological taxonomy plainly supports the fact that the fish with which we began is still a fish. Neither the genus nor the species has changed between the epigean and hypogean forms. Second, there is the principle of progression versus regression. Here, information is the key. Evolution demandsprogression, and with it there must accompany an increase of new information. Regression can be described by the loss or corruption of genetic information. Harvard’s Ernst Mayr defined macroevolution as the “evolution above the species level; the evolution of higher taxa and the production of evolutionary novelties, such as new structures” (2001, p. 287). He included in his definition the requirement for the “production of evolutionary novelties, such as new structures.” The question then becomes, “What new structures has the cave fish evolved?” Here is where progression comes to a screeching halt. The cave fish actually falls into the category known as “devolution,” which is a category of regression on a downhill slope, where information is being lost—not gained (Wieland, 2001, p. 47). Organic evolution cannot be sustained using examples of “downhill” change. The basic tenets needed by evolutionists are not met, and thus cave fish cannot be touted as an example of evolutionary hypotheses.
Organisms are affected greatly by the habitats in which they live. Within their specific environments, they perform all the functions of life—feeding, procreating, etc. Thus, environmental changes and fluctuations have the potential to affect every aspect of their lives. Above ground, the sense of sight is a widely used, extremely beneficial trait. Underground, however, sight takes on a completely different role. Whereas above ground the loss of sight very likely would spell doom for most creatures,beneath the earth it is far less detrimental. When viewing the hypogean populations, mutated eyes characterize the vast majority. How can the mutation spread (and spread quickly) if it is completely neutral? In this setting and environment, the loss of sight for the cave fish could be beneficial, presenting itself as a good mutation.
According to Yamamoto and Jeffery, Astyanax has undergone certain changes, “including enhanced lateral line [sense of touch—BM/BT] and gustatory systems [sense of taste—BM/BT]” (289:631). These enhancements are part of a well-documented occurrence known as plasticity. Plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change. For instance, take the example of the father who lost his limb. Emotionally, this would be an extremely tragic situation that would require some mental adjustment to overcome. Neurologically, there also would be some adjustments that would have to take place. To use a somewhat simplified explanation, the human brain contains “maps” of the body. When something is lost, like a limb or even a digit on the hand, the brain adjusts the neural network and the mental “map” accordingly. For the hand, the adjacent digits’ representative image will expand to include the missing finger. This process works on varying timescales, but nowhere near an evolutionary timescale. According to the textbook, Neurobiology, “these changes take place over varying time scales; in some cases the shifts in representations are slow, developing over weeks, but in other cases they may be surprisingly rapid, beginning within a day or so, or even a few hours” (Shepherd, 1983, p. 290, emp. added). For amputee patients, this is an established fact, and provides an extraordinary example of the amazing adaptive nature (and incredible design!) of the human brain.
This neurological process applies to the cave fish, as evinced by Yamamoto and Jeffery’s aforementioned conclusion regarding enhanced touch and taste. For a fish in complete darkness, the lateral line (which is the sensory network for touch) would be essential, since it would guide the fish through the cavern. The gustatory system (which is primarily responsible for taste) would aid in the location of food. As scientific studies have documented, there are “compensatory improvements of the sense of taste in the blind, cave-dwelling fish” (Boudriot and Reutter, 2001, p. 428). These enhancements, due to a mutation, would confer an advantage for the blind cave fish over the non-mutated variety. However, notice that this is an advantage only to this highly specific environment, and would become of ill effect outside of these parameters.
In conclusion, blind cave fish are just that—blind (by mutation) and isolated to a cave environment. As they have been from the beginning, they are still just fish.. Genetic mutations and variations are found throughout nature, occurring in all populations. In many cases, they represent a defect—i.e., the corruption or loss of valuable genetic information that results in a “downhill” change or devolution, which is in direct opposition to the required demands of macroevolution. The incredible design and complexity of life is seen by its ability to survive. Whether changing behavior due to environmental strain, or re-networking a neural interface, life is dynamic, and is filled with remarkable intricacies. One cannot help but wonder: whence came such design?

REFERENCES

“Blind Fish Show Eyes Can Grow Back,” (2000), [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2000/Nature/07/28/blind.cavefish.reut/.
Boudriot, F. and Klaus Reutter (2001), “Ultrastructure of the Taste Buds in the Blind Cave FishAstyanax jordani (‘Anoptichthys’) and the Sighted River Fish Astyanax mexicanus (Teleostei, Characidae),” Journal of Comparative Neurology, 434:428-444, June 11.
Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi Luca (2000), Genes, Peoples, and Languages (New York: North Point Press).
Davidheiser, Bolton (1969), Evolution and Christian Faith (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed).
Gould, Stephen J. (2002), The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
Mayr, Ernst (2001), What Evolution Is (New York: Basic Books).
Muller, Hermann J. (1950), “Radiation Damage to the Genetic Material,” American Scientist, 38:33-50,126, January.
Pennisi, Elizabeth (2000), “Embryonic Lens Prompts Eye Development,” Science, 289:522-523, July 28.
Ruse, Michael (1979), The Darwinian Revolution (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Sarfati, Jonathan (2002), “15 Ways to Refute Materialistic Bigotry,” [On-line], URL: http://www.answersingenesis.org/news/scientific_american.asp.
Schwartz, Jeffrey H. (1999), Sudden Origins (New York: John Wiley & Sons).
Shepherd, Gordon M. (1983), Neurobiology (New York: Oxford University Press).
Wieland, Carl (2001), “Blind Fish, Island Immigrants and Hairy Babies,” Creation Ex Nihilo, 23[1]:46-49.
Yamamoto, Yoshiyuki and William R. Jeffery (2000), “Central Role for the Lens in Cave Fish Eye Degeneration,” Science, 289:631-633, July 28.

Blinded by the Bible by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=940

Blinded by the Bible

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

In August 1984, a Christian was invited to appear on the nationwide Phil Donahue television show for the purpose of clarifying why a church in Oklahoma had implemented disciplinary procedures against a wayward member. The Christian presented the Bible directives pertaining to the point by quoting scripture after scripture substantiating that, in fact, the church had conscientiously followed biblical protocol. His persistent appeal to the Bible seemed to antagonize and irritate many members of the studio audience. Their sentiments were summarized in the words of one woman who stood and, as Mr. Donahue held the microphone for her, stated with apparent frustration and exasperation: “From being here today I just feel that you people are blinded by the Bible. They don’t see anything else but the Bible” (Donahue Transcript, 1984, p. 20).
Unwittingly, this individual paid a tremendous tribute to Christians. It was apparent to the audience that genuine Christians are so obsessed with God’s Word, and so preoccupied with ascertaining biblical authority for every action, that they simply cannot see anything else. They are blinded—not by erroneous human reasoning, legal/judicial consequences, or current societal consensus—but by the Bible.
There was a time when it could be said fairly accurately that American civilization was similarly blinded. Unfortunately, during the last fifty years, society seems to have largely regained its sight. The biblical values and moral principles upon which this country was founded, and which have provided the social framework out of which the majority of Americans have operated, are being systematically jettisoned and replaced by pluralism. A variety of philosophies, religions, and values are being gradually incorporated into an American civilization that was never envisioned by the Founders. The biblical approach, in which God’s words are set forth as preeminent, has largely been abandoned. Public education is now thoroughly dominated by modern psychology, humanistic sociology, and evolutionary values. The average American understood right from wrong, and recognized an absolute standard of morality. Now, however, the “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” attitude of “political correctness” permeates the population. The alienation of the average citizen from the God of the Bible is profound.
With people no longer “blinded by the Bible,” this state of affairs has resulted in the very social scenario described by Jesus when, referring to His earthly contemporaries, He said:
seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.… For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart and turn, so that I should heal them (Matthew 13:13,15).
If only civilization would return to a healthy preoccupation with the Word of God—sustained intimacy with Scripture. If only society would once again become blinded by the Bible.

REFERENCE

Donahue Transcript #09284 (1984), (Cincinnati, OH: Multimedia Entertainment).

From Jim McGuiggan... Augustine on the 1st Resurrection

Augustine on the 1st Resurrection

Augustine (of Hippo) thought that the "first resurrection" in Revelation 20:4-5 was the resurrection of sinners to life in Jesus Christ. It would be in line with Ephesians 2:1-6, Colossians 2:12-13, John 5:25, Romans 6:3-7 and other such texts.
Augustine thought of two resurrections. One that began the Christian experience of life in Jesus and the final bodily resurrection which completed the Christian experience. Both resurrections would be the experience of Christians but only the first one, he thought, was in Revelation 20:4-5.
Because Augustine was so influential that view became popular and remains popular today.
But the truth of those texts like Romans 6:3-7 is not the truth Revelation 20:4-5 is telling.
In those texts we have people who are outside of Christ entering into a saving union with Christ. Prior to their believer's baptism they are not united with Christ and then by faith they are baptized into Christ and are identified with and enter into union with his death and resurrection.
That is not the setting of Revelation 20. The people who "come to life" in a resurrection in Revelation 20 are already in Jesus Christ. They had earlier experienced the "resurrection" into Jesus. In this setting they had laid down their lives for Jesus Christ in the battle against the Beast and his armies. These are not passing from death outside of Christ into life in Jesus Christ—this had already been accomplished before they were martyred for Christ.
No, let me say it again. Whatever the image in Revelation 20:4-5 is saying (and it is an image) it is saying it about those who already belonged to Jesus Christ and who had therefore experienced a "resurrection" such as is spoken of on Ephesians 2:1-6. The "first" resurrection in Revelation is not dealing with a spiritual resurrection when one becomes a Christian in contrast to the final glorious bodily resurrection. 
In Revelation 20 imagery there are "two" resurrections. One, the resurrection of those martyred for Jesus and the resurrection of those killed in the service of the Dragon and the beasts. 
In a lengthy and broader-ranging article Garlington takes the view that the "first resurrection" is written to tell us something about the after-life situation of those that have died in Jesus Christ. He suggests that it speaks of a new intimacy, the martyred believers, as it were, enter the very throne-room of God. He goes with Augustine in saying it is a spiritual resurrection but makes it an extension of Augustine’s view. But since he thinks it speaks of an after-life experience prior to the final coming of our Lord and the bodily resurrection, he feels compelled to see a resurrection of "souls".
In his presentation he stresses that it is souls that John sees resurrected and not bodies. This he feels will make the point that the resurrection imaged is not a bodily resurrection. (It would also weaken a premillennial view, you see, which requires a literal resurrection that would then, of course, involve bodies.)
This unduly complicates matters and over-interprets the words (so I judge). John isn’t saying he saw the "souls" come to life. If he had said that we would have to conclude that the "souls" (that is, "the spiritual side" of humans, in this case, the Christians) had been killed. This would require "dead souls". A strange idea indeed.
John said he saw "the souls of those that were beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus." He goes on to say that "they" came to life. He isn’t isolating the souls from the persons of the martyrs. He’s talking about "those" whose souls he saw. "They" came to life and not just their "souls".
A resurrection in scripture, whether figuratively of a nation (as in Ezekiel 37) or an individual in a "spiritual" resurrection (as in Ephesians 2) involves the entire person or persons. The idea of the abstracted "spirit" (or soul) of an individual being resurrected is a concept altogether foreign to the biblical witness.
No, John sees martyrs for Jesus coming to life! The picture he’s looking at is a bodily resurrection. But it’s an image. A picture that rehearses a truth. As surely as the chaining and imprisonment of Satan was an image and not a literal truth just that surely the resurrection of the martyrs was an image and not a literal truth.
The coming bodily resurrection in passages like 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 remain as true as true and as expected as it ever been, but that’s not the truth John is conveying in Revelation 20.
It remains true, however, that the image John sees is a bodily resurrection rather than a resurrection of "dead souls".
Still, in the book of Revelation with its welter of images we’re to see what he saw and then work at its meaning. When the seven-headed beast rises from the sea we’re supposed to say, "That’s what he sees, now what does it mean?" We’re supposed to look at Satan being chained and imprisoned for a thousand years and say, "That’s what he sees, now what does it mean?" When he sees a bodily resurrection and a thousand year reign with Christ we are supposed to say, "That’s what he sees, now what does it mean?"
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

From Gary... Bible Reading June 19-21



Bible Reading  

June 19-21

The World English Bible


June 19
1 Samuel 31

1Sa 31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa.
1Sa 31:2 The Philistines followed hard on Saul and on his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
1Sa 31:3 The battle went sore against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers.
1Sa 31:4 Then said Saul to his armor bearer, Draw your sword, and thrust me through therewith, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armor bearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell on it.
1Sa 31:5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword, and died with him.
1Sa 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor bearer, and all his men, that same day together.
1Sa 31:7 When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and lived in them.
1Sa 31:8 It happened on the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.
1Sa 31:9 They cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines all around, to carry the news to the house of their idols, and to the people.
1Sa 31:10 They put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth; and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.
1Sa 31:11 When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard concerning him that which the Philistines had done to Saul,
1Sa 31:12 all the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.
1Sa 31:13 They took their bones, and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

June 20
2 Samuel 1-3

2Sa 1:1 It happened after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;
2Sa 1:2 it happened on the third day, that behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes torn, and earth on his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.
2Sa 1:3 David said to him, Where do you come from? He said to him, I have escaped out of the camp of Israel.
2Sa 1:4 David said to him, How did it go? Please tell me. He answered, The people have fled from the battle, and many of the people also have fallen and are dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.
2Sa 1:5 David said to the young man who told him, How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?
2Sa 1:6 The young man who told him said, As I happened by chance on Mount Gilboa, behold, Saul was leaning on his spear; and behold, the chariots and the horsemen followed hard after him.
2Sa 1:7 When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, Here I am.
2Sa 1:8 He said to me, Who are you? I answered him, I am an Amalekite.
2Sa 1:9 He said to me, Stand, I pray you, beside me, and kill me; for anguish has taken hold of me, because my life is yet whole in me.
2Sa 1:10 So I stood beside him, and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was on his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.
2Sa 1:11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and tore them; and likewise all the men who were with him:
2Sa 1:12 and they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of Yahweh, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.
2Sa 1:13 David said to the young man who told him, Where are you from? He answered, I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite.
2Sa 1:14 David said to him, How were you not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy Yahweh's anointed?
2Sa 1:15 David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall on him. He struck him, so that he died.
2Sa 1:16 David said to him, Your blood be on your head; for your mouth has testified against you, saying, I have slain Yahweh's anointed.
2Sa 1:17 David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son
2Sa 1:18 (and he bade them teach the children of Judah the song of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jashar):
2Sa 1:19 Your glory, Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!
2Sa 1:20 Don't tell it in Gath. Don't publish it in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
2Sa 1:21 You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain on you, neither fields of offerings; For there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away, The shield of Saul was not anointed with oil.
2Sa 1:22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, Jonathan's bow didn't turn back. Saul's sword didn't return empty.
2Sa 1:23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives. In their death, they were not divided. They were swifter than eagles. They were stronger than lions.
2Sa 1:24 You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet delicately, who put ornaments of gold on your clothing.
2Sa 1:25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan is slain on your high places.
2Sa 1:26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan. You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
2Sa 1:27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

2Sa 2:1 It happened after this, that David inquired of Yahweh, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? Yahweh said to him, Go up. David said, Where shall I go up? He said, To Hebron.
2Sa 2:2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
2Sa 2:3 His men who were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they lived in the cities of Hebron.
2Sa 2:4 The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. They told David, saying, The men of Jabesh Gilead were those who buried Saul.
2Sa 2:5 David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, Blessed be you of Yahweh, that you have shown this kindness to your lord, even to Saul, and have buried him.
2Sa 2:6 Now Yahweh show loving kindness and truth to you: and I also will reward you for this kindness, because you have done this thing.
2Sa 2:7 Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.
2Sa 2:8 Now Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's army, had taken Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
2Sa 2:9 and he made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
2Sa 2:10 Ishbosheth, Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.
2Sa 2:11 The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
2Sa 2:12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
2Sa 2:13 Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.
2Sa 2:14 Abner said to Joab, Please let the young men arise and play before us. Joab said, Let them arise.
2Sa 2:15 Then they arose and went over by number: twelve for Benjamin, and for Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
2Sa 2:16 They caught everyone his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: therefore that place was called Helkath Hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.
2Sa 2:17 The battle was very severe that day: and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
2Sa 2:18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild gazelle.
2Sa 2:19 Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he didn't turn to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.
2Sa 2:20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Is it you, Asahel? He answered, It is I.
2Sa 2:21 Abner said to him, Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and grab one of the young men, and take his armor. But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
2Sa 2:22 Abner said again to Asahel, Turn aside from following me: why should I strike you to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab your brother?
2Sa 2:23 However he refused to turn aside: therefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear struck him in the body, so that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it happened, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.
2Sa 2:24 But Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lies before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
2Sa 2:25 The children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one band, and stood on the top of a hill.
2Sa 2:26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Don't you know that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long shall it be then, before you bid the people return from following their brothers?"
2Sa 2:27 Joab said, As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone away, nor followed everyone his brother.
2Sa 2:28 So Joab blew the trumpet; and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.
2Sa 2:29 Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah; and they passed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and came to Mahanaim.
2Sa 2:30 Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel.
2Sa 2:31 But the servants of David had struck of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred sixty men died.
2Sa 2:32 They took up Asahel, and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was in Bethlehem. Joab and his men went all night, and the day broke on them at Hebron.
2Sa 3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: and David grew stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
2Sa 3:2 To David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;
2Sa 3:3 and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
2Sa 3:4 and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
2Sa 3:5 and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
2Sa 3:6 It happened, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong in the house of Saul.
2Sa 3:7 Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Why have you gone in to my father's concubine?
2Sa 3:8 Then was Abner very angry for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head that belongs to Judah? This day do I show kindness to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me this day with a fault concerning this woman.
2Sa 3:9 God do so to Abner, and more also, if, as Yahweh has sworn to David, I don't do even so to him;
2Sa 3:10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.
2Sa 3:11 He could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
2Sa 3:12 Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make your league with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you, to bring about all Israel to you.
2Sa 3:13 He said, Well; I will make a league with you; but one thing I require of you: that is, you shall not see my face, unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see my face.
2Sa 3:14 David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, whom I pledged to be married to me for one hundred foreskins of the Philistines.
2Sa 3:15 Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Paltiel the son of Laish.
2Sa 3:16 Her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her to Bahurim. Then said Abner to him, Go, return: and he returned.
2Sa 3:17 Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, In times past you sought for David to be king over you:
2Sa 3:18 now then do it; for Yahweh has spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.
2Sa 3:19 Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to the whole house of Benjamin.
2Sa 3:20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. David made Abner and the men who were with him a feast.
2Sa 3:21 Abner said to David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your soul desires. David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
2Sa 3:22 Behold, the servants of David and Joab came from a foray, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace.
2Sa 3:23 When Joab and all the army who was with him had come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he is gone in peace.
2Sa 3:24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, What have you done? behold, Abner came to you; why is it that you have sent him away, and he is quite gone?
2Sa 3:25 You know Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you do.
2Sa 3:26 When Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah: but David didn't know it.
2Sa 3:27 When Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him quietly, and struck him there in the body, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.
2Sa 3:28 Afterward, when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before Yahweh forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner:
2Sa 3:29 let it fall on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one who has an issue, or who is a leper, or who leans on a staff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.
2Sa 3:30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.
2Sa 3:31 David said to Joab, and to all the people who were with him, Tear your clothes, and gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. King David followed the bier.
2Sa 3:32 They buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.
2Sa 3:33 The king lamented for Abner, and said, Should Abner die as a fool dies?
2Sa 3:34 Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put into fetters. As a man falls before the children of iniquity, so you fell. All the people wept again over him.
2Sa 3:35 All the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day; but David swore, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or anything else, until the sun be down.
2Sa 3:36 All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; as whatever the king did pleased all the people.
2Sa 3:37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to kill Abner the son of Ner.
2Sa 3:38 The king said to his servants, "Don't you know that there a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?
2Sa 3:39 I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me. May Yahweh reward the evildoer according to his wickedness."

June 21
2 Samuel 4-6

2Sa 4:1 When Ishbosheth, Saul's son, heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands became feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled.
2Sa 4:2 Ishbosheth, Saul's son, had two men who were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin (for Beeroth also is reckoned to Benjamin:
2Sa 4:3 and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and have lived as foreigners there until this day).
2Sa 4:4 Now Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son who was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the news came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel; and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
2Sa 4:5 The sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, as he took his rest at noon.
2Sa 4:6 They came there into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they struck him in the body: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.
2Sa 4:7 Now when they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, they struck him, and killed him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and went by the way of the Arabah all night.
2Sa 4:8 They brought the head of Ishbosheth to David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold, the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; and Yahweh has avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
2Sa 4:9 David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, As Yahweh lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all adversity,
2Sa 4:10 when one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good news, I took hold of him, and killed him in Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news.
2Sa 4:11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?
2Sa 4:12 David commanded his young men, and they killed them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up beside the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron.
2Sa 5:1 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David to Hebron, and spoke, saying, Behold, we are your bone and your flesh.
2Sa 5:2 In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel: and Yahweh said to you, You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.
2Sa 5:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a covenant with them in Hebron before Yahweh: and they anointed David king over Israel.
2Sa 5:4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.
2Sa 5:5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.
2Sa 5:6 The king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, Unless you take away the blind and the lame, you shall not come in here; thinking, David can't come in here.
2Sa 5:7 Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is the city of David.
2Sa 5:8 David said on that day, Whoever strikes the Jebusites, let him get up to the watercourse, and strike the lame and the blind, who are hated of David's soul. Therefore they say, There are the blind and the lame; he can't come into the house.
2Sa 5:9 David lived in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. David built around from Millo and inward.
2Sa 5:10 David grew greater and greater; for Yahweh, the God of Armies, was with him.
2Sa 5:11 Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons; and they built David a house.
2Sa 5:12 David perceived that Yahweh had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.
2Sa 5:13 David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron; and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.
2Sa 5:14 These are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,
2Sa 5:15 and Ibhar, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
2Sa 5:16 and Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet.
2Sa 5:17 When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the stronghold.
2Sa 5:18 Now the Philistines had come and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
2Sa 5:19 David inquired of Yahweh, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? will you deliver them into my hand? Yahweh said to David, Go up; for I will certainly deliver the Philistines into your hand.
2Sa 5:20 David came to Baal Perazim, and David struck them there; and he said, Yahweh has broken my enemies before me, like the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.
2Sa 5:21 They left their images there; and David and his men took them away.
2Sa 5:22 The Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
2Sa 5:23 When David inquired of Yahweh, he said, You shall not go up: make a circuit behind them, and come on them over against the mulberry trees.
2Sa 5:24 It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then you shall stir yourself up; for then Yahweh has gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.
2Sa 5:25 David did so, as Yahweh commanded him, and struck the Philistines from Geba until you come to Gezer.
2Sa 6:1 David again gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
2Sa 6:2 David arose, and went with all the people who were with him, from Baale Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, even the name of Yahweh of Armies who sits above the cherubim.
2Sa 6:3 They set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in the hill: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart.
2Sa 6:4 They brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was in the hill, with the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.
2Sa 6:5 David and all the house of Israel played before Yahweh with all manner of instruments made of fir wood, and with harps, and with stringed instruments, and with tambourines, and with castanets, and with cymbals.
2Sa 6:6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the cattle stumbled.
2Sa 6:7 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
2Sa 6:8 David was displeased, because Yahweh had broken forth on Uzzah; and he called that place Perez Uzzah, to this day.
2Sa 6:9 David was afraid of Yahweh that day; and he said, How shall the ark of Yahweh come to me?
2Sa 6:10 So David would not remove the ark of Yahweh to him into the city of David; but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.
2Sa 6:11 The ark of Yahweh remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite three months: and Yahweh blessed Obed-Edom, and all his house.
2Sa 6:12 It was told king David, saying, Yahweh has blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that pertains to him, because of the ark of God. David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom into the city of David with joy.
2Sa 6:13 It was so, that, when those who bore the ark of Yahweh had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf.
2Sa 6:14 David danced before Yahweh with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
2Sa 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of Yahweh with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
2Sa 6:16 It was so, as the ark of Yahweh came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out at the window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before Yahweh; and she despised him in her heart.
2Sa 6:17 They brought in the ark of Yahweh, and set it in its place, in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh.
2Sa 6:18 When David had made an end of offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Yahweh of Armies.
2Sa 6:19 He dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to everyone a cake of bread, and a portion of flesh, and a cake of raisins. So all the people departed everyone to his house.
2Sa 6:20 Then David returned to bless his household. Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!
2Sa 6:21 David said to Michal, It was before Yahweh, who chose me above your father, and above all his house, to appoint me prince over the people of Yahweh, over Israel: therefore will I play before Yahweh.
2Sa 6:22 I will be yet more vile than this, and will be base in my own sight: but of the handmaids of whom you have spoken, they shall honor me.

2Sa 6:23 Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

Jun. 19, 20
John 18

Joh 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered.
Joh 18:2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples.
Joh 18:3 Judas then, having taken a detachment of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Joh 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were happening to him, went forth, and said to them, "Who are you looking for?"
Joh 18:5 They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am he." Judas also, who betrayed him, was standing with them.
Joh 18:6 When therefore he said to them, "I am he," they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Joh 18:7 Again therefore he asked them, "Who are you looking for?" They said, "Jesus of Nazareth."
Joh 18:8 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way,"
Joh 18:9 that the word might be fulfilled which he spoke, "Of those whom you have given me, I have lost none."
Joh 18:10 Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
Joh 18:11 Jesus therefore said to Peter, "Put the sword into its sheath. The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it?"
Joh 18:12 So the detachment, the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him,
Joh 18:13 and led him to Annas first, for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.
Joh 18:14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should perish for the people.
Joh 18:15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest;
Joh 18:16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought in Peter.
Joh 18:17 Then the maid who kept the door said to Peter, "Are you also one of this man's disciples?" He said, "I am not."
Joh 18:18 Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals, for it was cold. They were warming themselves. Peter was with them, standing and warming himself.
Joh 18:19 The high priest therefore asked Jesus about his disciples, and about his teaching.
Joh 18:20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where the Jews always meet. I said nothing in secret.
Joh 18:21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them. Behold, these know the things which I said."
Joh 18:22 When he had said this, one of the officers standing by slapped Jesus with his hand, saying, "Do you answer the high priest like that?"
Joh 18:23 Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, testify of the evil; but if well, why do you beat me?"
Joh 18:24 Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest.
Joh 18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said therefore to him, "You aren't also one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it, and said, "I am not."
Joh 18:26 One of the servants of the high priest, being a relative of him whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
Joh 18:27 Peter therefore denied it again, and immediately the rooster crowed.
Joh 18:28 They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium. It was early, and they themselves didn't enter into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.
Joh 18:29 Pilate therefore went out to them, and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?"
Joh 18:30 They answered him, "If this man weren't an evildoer, we wouldn't have delivered him up to you."
Joh 18:31 Pilate therefore said to them, "Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law." Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,"
Joh 18:32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying by what kind of death he should die.
Joh 18:33 Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
Joh 18:34 Jesus answered him, "Do you say this by yourself, or did others tell you about me?"
Joh 18:35 Pilate answered, "I'm not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered you to me. What have you done?"
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I wouldn't be delivered to the Jews. But now my Kingdom is not from here."
Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said to him, "Are you a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this reason I have been born, and for this reason I have come into the world, that I should testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."
Joh 18:38 Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" When he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no basis for a charge against him.
Joh 18:39 But you have a custom, that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Therefore do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
Joh 18:40 Then they all shouted again, saying, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.


Jun. 21, 22
John 19

Joh 19:1 So Pilate then took Jesus, and flogged him.
Joh 19:2 The soldiers twisted thorns into a crown, and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple garment.
Joh 19:3 They kept saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and they kept slapping him.
Joh 19:4 Then Pilate went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I bring him out to you, that you may know that I find no basis for a charge against him."
Joh 19:5 Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. Pilate said to them, "Behold, the man!"
Joh 19:6 When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw him, they shouted, saying, "Crucify! Crucify!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves, and crucify him, for I find no basis for a charge against him."
Joh 19:7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God."
Joh 19:8 When therefore Pilate heard this saying, he was more afraid.
Joh 19:9 He entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.
Joh 19:10 Pilate therefore said to him, "Aren't you speaking to me? Don't you know that I have power to release you, and have power to crucify you?"
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, "You would have no power at all against me, unless it were given to you from above. Therefore he who delivered me to you has greater sin."
Joh 19:12 At this, Pilate was seeking to release him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you release this man, you aren't Caesar's friend! Everyone who makes himself a king speaks against Caesar!"
Joh 19:13 When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called "The Pavement," but in Hebrew, "Gabbatha."
Joh 19:14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, at about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!"
Joh 19:15 They cried out, "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!"
Joh 19:16 So then he delivered him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led him away.
Joh 19:17 He went out, bearing his cross, to the place called "The Place of a Skull," which is called in Hebrew, "Golgotha,"
Joh 19:18 where they crucified him, and with him two others, on either side one, and Jesus in the middle.
Joh 19:19 Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross. There was written, "JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS."
Joh 19:20 Therefore many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.
Joh 19:21 The chief priests of the Jews therefore said to Pilate, "Don't write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'he said, I am King of the Jews.' "
Joh 19:22 Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
Joh 19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
Joh 19:24 Then they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to decide whose it will be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which says, "They parted my garments among them. For my cloak they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things.
Joh 19:25 But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
Joh 19:26 Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son!"
Joh 19:27 Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.
Joh 19:28 After this, Jesus, seeing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I am thirsty."
Joh 19:29 Now a vessel full of vinegar was set there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop, and held it at his mouth.
Joh 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished." He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.
Joh 19:31 Therefore the Jews, because it was the Preparation Day, so that the bodies wouldn't remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special one), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Joh 19:32 Therefore the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with him;
Joh 19:33 but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they didn't break his legs.
Joh 19:34 However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
Joh 19:35 He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe.
Joh 19:36 For these things happened, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "A bone of him will not be broken."
Joh 19:37 Again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they pierced."
Joh 19:38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked of Pilate that he might take away Jesus' body. Pilate gave him permission. He came therefore and took away his body.
Joh 19:39 Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred Roman pounds.
Joh 19:40 So they took Jesus' body, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Joh 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb in which no man had ever yet been laid.
Joh 19:42 Then because of the Jews' Preparation Day (for the tomb was near at hand) they laid Jesus there.