From Mark Copeland... "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Chapter Six


  Chapter Six


1) To note the warnings about being obsessed with disputes and
   arguments over words, wranglings of men, etc.

2) To appreciate the counsel given to those who desire to be rich, and
   to those who are rich

3) To consider what the man of God is expected to flee and to pursue


This final chapter begins with instructions concerning servants and 
their duties toward their masters, especially toward those masters who 
believe (1-2).  A description then follows of those who might teach 
otherwise and not consent to the wholesome words of our Lord and His 
doctrine which is according to godliness (3-5).  Mentioning the value 
of godliness when accompanied by contentment, Paul warns of the need 
to be content with food and clothing, and the danger facing those who 
desire to be rich (6-10).

Timothy is then charged to flee such things and to pursue things
becoming a man of God.  He is encouraged to fight the good fight of
faith, and to lay hold on eternal life.  He is then solemnly urged by
Paul to keep the commandment without spot and blameless until our 
Lord's appearing, whom Paul describes in the most amazing terms 

The epistle ends with instructions for Christians who are rich in this 
world, and with an impassioned plea for Timothy to guard what was 
committed to his trust, avoiding profane and vain babbling over false 
doctrine which has led others away from the faith (17-21).



      1. As worthy of all honor (1a)
      2. So that God and His doctrine might not be blasphemed (1b)

      1. Not to be despised because they are brethren (2a)
      2. But to serve them, remembering that those who are benefited 
         are believers and beloved (2b)


      1. Anyone who does not consent to the wholesome words of our 
         Lord, and to the doctrine according to godliness (3)
      2. He is proud, knowing nothing (4a)
      3. He is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words (4b)
         a. From which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions
         b. From which come useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds
            and destitute of the truth (5a)
      4. Who supposes that godliness is a means of gain (5b)

      1. Godliness with contentment is great gain (6)
         a. For we brought nothing into this world (7a)
         b. And it is certain we can carry nothing out (7b)
      2. Thus we should be content with food and clothing (8)

      1. Those who desire to be rich fall...
         a. Into temptation and a snare (9a)
         b. Into many foolish and harmful lusts (9b)
         ...which drown men in destruction and perdition (9c)
      2. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (10a)
         a. For which some have strayed from the faith in their 
            greediness (10b)
         b. And have pierced themselves with many sorrows (10c)


      1. Flee the things described before, such as the desire to be
         rich (11a)
      2. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love patience, 
         gentleness (11b)
      3. Fight the good fight of faith (12a)
      4. Lay hold on eternal life (12b)
         a. To which you were called (12c)
         b. To which you have confessed the good confession in the
            presence of many (12d)
   B. A SOLEMN CHARGE (13-16)
      1. Urged by Paul in the sight of...
         a. God, who gives life to all things (13a)
         b. Jesus Christ, who witnessed the good confession before
            Pontius Pilate (13b)
      2. To keep the commandment without spot, blameless until the 
         Lord's appearing (14)
         a. Which He will manifest in His own time (15a)
         b. Who is then described as:
            1) The blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and 
               Lord of lords (15b)
            2) He who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable
               light, whom no man has seen or can see (16a)
         c. To whom be honor and everlasting power (16b)


      1. Not to be haughty, nor trust in uncertain riches (17a)
      2. But to trust in the living God, who gives us richly all things
         to enjoy (17b)

      1. To do good, to be rich in good works, ready to give, willing 
         to share (18)
      2. Storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to
         come, that they may lay hold on eternal life (19)

      1. To guard what was committed to his trust (20a)
      2. To avoid the profane and vain babbling and contradictions of
         what is falsely called knowledge (20b)
      3. For by professing such, some have strayed concerning the faith



1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Instructions concerning servants (1-2)
   - Instructions concerning teachers motivated by greed (3-10)
   - Instructions concerning the man of God himself (11-16)
   - Instructions concerning the rich (17-19)
   - Concluding charge to Timothy (20-21)

2) How were servants to consider their masters?  Why? (1)
   - As worthy of all honor
   - That the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed

3) What were the servants who had believing masters cautioned against
   doing? (2)
   - Despising them because they are brethren

4) How is one described who does not consent to the words of our Lord,
   and to the doctrine which is according to godliness? (3-4)
   - Proud, knowing nothing, obsessed with disputes and arguments over

5) What is of great gain? (6)
   - Godliness with contentment

6) With what should we be content? (8)
   - Having food and clothing

7) What happens to those who desire to be rich? (9)
   - They fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and
     harmful lusts

8) What is a root of all kinds of evil? (10)
   - The love of money

9) What have some done in their greediness? (10)
   - Strayed from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many

10) What is the man of God to pursue? (11)
   - Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness

11) What is the man of God to fight, and to lay hold of? (12)
   - He is to fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal

12) What did Paul urge Timothy to do? (13-14)
   - To keep the commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord's

13) How does Paul describe our Lord Jesus Christ? (15-16)
   - The blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of 
   - Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light

14) What was Timothy to command the rich? (17-19)
   - Not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the
     living God
   - To do good, to be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to
   - To store up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come,
     that they may lay hold on eternal life

15) What was Timothy to avoid?  Why? (20-21)
   - Profane and vain babbling and contradictions of what is falsely
     called knowledge
   - By professing such things, some have strayed concerning the faith

16) What was Paul's final benediction to Timothy in this letter? (21)
   - Grace be with you

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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From Mark Copeland... "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Chapter Five

                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                              Chapter Five


1) To appreciate the responsibility we have toward our families, 
   especially widows

2) To consider under what circumstances widows may be "taken into the 

3) To note the distinction between the work of the church, and the 
   responsibility of individual Christians

4) To review our responsibilities toward those who serve as elders


This chapter contains Paul's instructions to Timothy regarding various 
members of the congregation.  He starts with the members in general, 
counseling Timothy to consider them as family, and exhorting them 
accordingly (1-2).  A major section is then devoted to the care of
widows, in which some may be "taken into the number".  What this phrase
refers to is unclear, but it may involve congregational support on a
long-term basis.  Only those who are truly widows (as defined in verse 
5) and who meet certain qualifications (listed in verse 9-10) are to be
so honored.  Younger widows are expected to remarry and have children, 
while widows with children and grandchildren are to be supported by 
their own family rather than burden the church (3-16).

Several remarks are then made regarding elders (not just older 
Christians, but those serving as overseers).  Elders who rule well are
to be worthy of financial support, especially if they are laboring in
the word and doctrine.  Accusations against an elder are not to be
taken seriously unless there be two or three witnesses.  Those elders 
who are sinning need to be publicly rebuked so that the rest may fear 

Paul then gives Timothy a solemn charge to be free from prejudice and
partiality as he goes about his duties.  He is also to be cautious 
about those he may commend, being careful to keep himself pure from 
others' sins.  The chapter concludes with advice for treating Timothy's
stomach ailment, and a reminder that both sins and good works will 
eventually become evident (21-25).



      1. Older men as fathers, younger men as brothers (1)
      2. Older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all
         purity (2)

      1. Honor those who are truly widows (3)
      2. Widows with children or grandchildren should be taken care of
         by them (4)
         a. That they may learn to show piety at home and repay their
         b. This is good and acceptable before God 
      3. Contrast between a true widow and one who is not (5-6)
         a. A true widow (5)
            1) One who is left alone (5a)
            2) One who trusts in God (5b)
            3) One who continues in supplications night and day (5c)
         b. The one who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives (6)
      4. Command these things that people may be blameless (7)
      5. One who does not provide for his own, especially his 
         household... (8)
         a. Has denied the faith 
         b. Is worse than an unbeliever 
      6. Regarding the church support of widows (9-16)
         a. Qualifications for those who can be taken into the number
            1) Not under sixty years of age
            2) The wife of one man
            3) Well reported for good works
            4) Has brought up children
            5) Has lodged strangers
            6) Has washed the saints' feet
            7) Has relieved the afflicted
            8) Has diligently followed every good work
         b. Reasons to reject younger widows (11-13)
            1) When they begin to grow wanton against Christ, they
               desire to marry
            2) Casting off their first faith, they have condemnation
            3) They learn to be idle, wandering about from house to
               house as busybodies and gossips
         c. Counsel for younger widows (14-15)
            1) To marry, bear children, manage the house
            2) To give no opportunity for the adversary to speak 
            3) For some have already have turned aside after Satan
         d. Those widows with believing children (16)
            1) The children should relieve them
            2) Do not burden the church, that it may relieve those who
               are truly widows

      1. Those who rule well (17-18)
         a. They are counted worthy of double honor
         b. Especially those who labor in word and doctrine
         c. Scriptural basis for supporting elders:
            1) "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the
            2) "The laborer is worthy of his wages"
      2. Those who don't rule well (19-20)
         a. Don't receive an accusation against an elder except from
            two or three witnesses (19)
         b. Elders who are sinning (20)
            1) Should be rebuked in the presence of all
            2) So that the rest may fear


      1. Given before God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels
      2. To observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing
         without partiality

      1. Don't lay hands hastily on anyone
      2. Don't share in other people's sins
      3. Keep yourself pure

      1. No longer drink only water
      2. Use a little wine for the sake of the stomach and frequent

      1. Some sins are clearly evident, others we learn after the
         judgment (24)
      2. The same is true regarding good works (25)   


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Instructions concerning the members (1-20)
   - Further instructions related to Timothy (21-25)

2) How was Timothy to exhort the members of the congregation? (1-2)
   - The older men as fathers, the younger women as brothers, the older
     women as mothers, the younger women as sisters, in all purity

3) Why are widows with children or grandchildren to be taken care of by
   them? (4)
   - So that the children may learn to show piety at home and repay
     their parents
   - For this is good and acceptable before God

4) Who is truly a widow? (5)
   - One left alone, who trusts in God, and prays night and day

5) What is said of one who will not provide for his own family? (8)
   - He has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever

6) List the qualifications for a widow to be "taken into the number"
   - At least sixty years old
   - The wife of one man
   - Well reported for good works
   - Has brought up children
   - Has lodged strangers
   - Has washed the saints' feet
   - Has relieved the afflicted
   - Has diligently followed every good work

7) What are the younger widows to do?  Why? (14)
   - Marry, bear children, manage the house
   - To give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully

8) What two groups of widows are NOT to be "taken into the number"?
   - Younger widows
   - Widows with believing children who can provide for them

9) How should elders who rule well be considered, especially if they
   labor in word and doctrine? (17)
   - Counted worthy of double honor

10) What basis does Paul give for compensating elders? (18)
   - The Old Testament scriptures (Deut 25:4)
   - The sayings of Jesus (Lk 10:7)

11) What is necessary to receive an accusation against an elder? (19)
   - Two or three witnesses

12) What should be done with elders who are sinning? (20)
   - Rebuke them in the presence of all, that the rest may fear

13) What serious charge was given to Timothy before God, the Lord, and
    the elect angels? (21)
   - To observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with 

14) What words of caution does Paul give Timothy? (22)
   - Don't lay hands on anyone hastily
   - Don't share in other people's sins
   - Keep yourself pure

15) What advice does Paul give Timothy for his stomach ailments? (23)
   - No longer drink only water
   - But use a little wine

16) What is true in regards to both sin and good works? (24-25)
   - Some are clearly evident, and some will not be known until after
     the judgment day

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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From Mark Copeland... "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Chapter Four

                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                              Chapter Four


1) To learn what we can about the apostasy foretold by the Spirit

2) To see what sort of things will make one a good minister of Jesus 


Paul begins this chapter with describing how the Spirit has revealed
that in latter times there would be an apostasy in which some would
depart from the faith.  This falling away would come about as people
gave heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, leading to
their speaking lies in hypocrisy and searing their consciences as with
a hot iron.  Examples of their false doctrines are given:  forbidding 
to marry and commanding to abstain from certain foods.  Regarding the 
latter, Paul makes it clear that all foods are acceptable if they be 
received with thanksgiving, for they are sanctified by the word of God 
and prayer (1-5).

In the last half of this chapter, we find Paul instructing Timothy on
how he can be a good minister of Jesus Christ.  By instructing the 
brethren in matters pertaining to sound doctrine, he will also be 
nourished himself.  But he should also be careful to avoid foolish 
fables, and rather exercise himself to godliness, which is of more 
enduring value than bodily exercise (6-10).

Though Timothy is young, he should not let anyone despise him for his
youth.  Instead he must demonstrate the proper example of how a
believer should speak and live.  With further instruction as to what
things to give attention, Paul encourages Timothy that by following
these admonitions his progress will be evident to all, and he will save
both himself and those who hear him (11-16).



      1. Foretold expressly by the Spirit (1a)
      2. In latter times some will depart from the faith (1b-2)
         a. Giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons
         b. Speaking lies in hypocrisy (2a)
         c. Having consciences seared with a hot iron (2b)
      1. Some will forbid to marry (3a)
      2. Some will command abstention from certain foods (3b)
         a. Which God created to be received with thanksgiving (3c)
         b. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be
            refused (4a)
            1) If it is received with thanksgiving (4b)
            2) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (5)


      1. Instruct the brethren in regards to such things as the 
         apostasy (6a)
      2. You will be a good minister of Jesus Christ (6b)
      3. You will be nourished in the words of faith and good doctrine
      4. But reject profane and old wives' fables (7a)
      1. Exercise yourself to godliness, for bodily exercise profits a
         little (7b-8a)
      2. But godliness is profitable for all things, having promise...
         a. Of the life that now is (8b)
         b. And of that which is to come (8c)
      3. Such is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance (9)
      4. And to this end we labor and suffer reproach (10a)
         a. Because we trust in the living God (10b)
         b. Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who
            believe (10c)

      1. Command and teach such things as previously described (11)
      2. Let no one despise your youth (12a)
      3. Be an example to the believers (12b)
         a. In word, in conduct, in love
         b. In spirit, in faith, in purity
      4. Give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (13)
      5. Do not neglect the gift in you (14a)
         a. Given by prophecy (14b)
         b. With the laying on of hands of the presbytery (14c)
      6. In order that your progress may be evident to all...
         a. Meditate on these things (15a)
         b. Give yourself entirely to them (15b)
      7. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine (16a)
         a. Continue in them (16b)
         b. In doing this, you will save both yourself and those who 
            hear you (16b)


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The coming apostasy (1-5)
   - A good servant of Jesus Christ (6-16)

2) What did the Spirit reveal would happen in latter times? (1)
   - Some will depart from the faith

3) What would such people give heed to? (1)
   - Deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons

4) What would they speak?  Why? (2)
   - Lies in hypocrisy
   - Their consciences would be seared, as with a hot iron

5) List two examples of the sort of doctrines they would teach (3)
   - Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from certain foods

6) What foods are acceptable for Christians to eat?  What makes them
   acceptable? (4-5)
   - Nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving
   - They are sanctified by the word of God and prayer

7) What would ensure that Timothy would be a good minister of Jesus 
   Christ? (6)
   - If he instructed the brethren in these matters

8) As a good minister, in what would he be nourished? (6)
   - In the words of faith and of the good doctrine which he has 
     carefully followed

9) What was Timothy to reject?  Unto what was he to exercise himself?
   - Profane and old wives' fables
   - Godliness

10) What is the value of godliness? (8)
   - It has promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to

11) What was Timothy not to let anyone despise? (12)
   - His youth

12) In what areas was Timothy to be an example to the believers? (12)
   - In word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity

13) To what three things was Timothy to give attention? (13)
   - Reading, exhortation, and doctrine

14) What was Timothy not to neglect?  How was it given to him? (14)
   - The gift that was in him
   - By prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery

15) How could Timothy ensure that his progress would be evident to all?
   - By meditating on these things, and giving himself entirely to them

16) How could Timothy save both himself and those who heard him? (16)
   - By taking heed to himself and to the doctrine, and continuing in

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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Don't Worry, Be Happy by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Don't Worry, Be Happy

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

It certainly would not single-handedly prove the Bible’s inspiration if we could show that it is filled with practical advice that is time-tested and true. However, it would add considerable weight to the overall case of biblical inspiration if several such pieces of proverbial wisdom could be discovered. One of those can be found in Matthew 6:25, a passage in which Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”
Worry has consistently been one of society’s most plaguing problems. It has caused countless costs in the healthcare profession. It has crippled the effectiveness of Christians. Worry has retarded growth in family, led to the premature deaths of loved ones, destroyed businesses, and separated souls from God. Surely, worry can’t be that destructive, some might say. However, in an amazing book titled None of These Diseases, medical doctors S.I. McMillen and David E. Stern brought to light the fact that worrying and stress do cause major problems.
On pages 175-177 of their book, they included a partial list of conditions that are caused or worsened by worry and stress. Among those are infertility, suicide, lung cancer, breast cancer (or cancer of many types), anorexia, heart attacks, and strokes.
The negative effects of worry on the human body have been known for many years. The Great Physician’s prescription for a worry-free life was, and is, “just what the doctor ordered” for good health—physical, emotional, and spiritual.


McMillen, S.I. and David Stern (2000), None of These Diseases (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell), third edition.

Did the Laws of Science Apply in the Beginning? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Did the Laws of Science Apply in the Beginning?

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

It is relatively easy to disprove the idea that matter can spontaneously generate. Of course, even intuition does not back spontaneous generation. It matters not how long you sit in your chair and stare at an empty desk. A pencil will not eventually materialize on the desk before you. Things—no matter how simplistic—do not pop into existence from nothing.
The idea of ordered, physical law-abiding matter (i.e., like that which we see all around us in the created order) coming into being from nothing is even more far-fetched. Beyond intuition, this matter is laid to rest when we consider the implications of the First Law of Thermodynamics and the Law of Conservation of Matter. To paraphrase, the amount of energy and matter in a system will remain constant unless there is input from some outside source. In other words, it does not matter how long you stare at the table, unless someone comes by your table and puts an already existing pencil on it, or you put the pencil on it yourself, or it falls on the table from some other place, a pencil will not appear on the table. This idea, applied to the origin of the Universe, indicates that the Universe has either always existed (an idea which violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics) or Someone put it here (see Miller, 2007 for a more in depth discussion of the Laws of Thermodynamics and their application to the Creation/Evolution controversy).

In response, some scientists boldly make the claim that, concerning the origin of matter, “one usually assumes that the current laws of physics did not apply then” (Linde, 1994). Granted—certain assumptions are often necessary in science. Granted—no one was around to make scientific observations about the origin of matter. But wait…that’s the point. How is it scientific to make such a claim when all empirical evidence that has ever been observed by scientists leads to the conclusion that the laws of physics are and always have been immutable? Scientific assumptions must carry the quality of being reasonable in order for them to be permissible in scientific discussion. The only way the claim that the laws of science did not apply in the beginning can be made and considered to be reasonable is if the person has made another equally unscientific assumption upon which that claim is based. The person would have to assume that there was no One here at the beginning that could have organized matter in keeping with the Laws that that Being set in motion. The creation model in no way contradicts the laws of physics. On the other hand, the atheistic evolutionary model contradicts the laws of physics in a myriad of ways. Yet, creationists are the ones who are somehow branded as unscientific.


Linde, Andrei (1994), “The Self-Reproducing Inflationary Universe,” Scientific American, 271[5]:48, November.

Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,”Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.

Demon Theology by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


Demon Theology

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

As suggested in the feature article in this issue, the term “demon” appears to come from a Greek root form meaning “to know.” Plato, in his Cratylus (i.398), suggested that the word is derived from daemon, “knowing.” Whatever else, therefore, may be said of demons, they were intelligent beings; they “knew” certain truths.
A consideration of the testimony of those demons whose statements are recorded in the New Testament is of considerable interest. From their words, one may draw some reasonable conclusions.
(1) Demons were not atheists; they believed in God; moreover, they were not polytheists; they believed that God is “one” (see James 2:19). Their faith, however, never had been coupled with obedience, hence, it was a “dead” faith (James 2:14-16). Never, however, did they seek to justify themselves in their rebellion.
(2) Demons were not religious modernists. They did not subscribe to the notion that Jesus was a mere man. They acknowledged the Lord as “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). In His presence they cried: “Thou art the Son of God” (Mark 3:11). Observe that they did not address Jesus as “the son of Joseph,” or any other human. Obviously they were aware of the fact that Christ, as the Son of God, was born of a virgin. There are numerous religious leaders today who refuse to make this bold and wonderful confession.
(3) The demons conceded the divine authority of Christ. On one occasion they entreated the Lord that He “would not command them to depart into the abyss” (Luke 8:31). They clearly knew that when that awesome time came, they would be obliged to obey.
(4) Demons did not deny personal responsibility. They once inquired of Jesus: “Are you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29). Observe that they recognized that a certain “time” was inevitable when they would give account for their wickedness.
(5) Demons did not deny the existence of hell, like some modern cultists do, for they knew that “torment” (a term that implies conscious punishment) was in their future (Matthew 8:29), and they trembled at the prospect of such (James 2:19).
It is a sobering fact that some modern folks do not have enough knowledge and/or faith to rival even that of a demon. This is a tragic circumstance.

The Miracles of Christ—Many and Varied by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The Miracles of Christ—Many and Varied

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

One of the biblical proofs for the deity of Christ is the miracles that Jesus worked. And, we are asked to believe that Jesus is the Son of God not because He performed one or two marvelous deeds during His lifetime. To the contrary, “miracles cluster around the Lord Jesus Christ like steel shavings to a magnet” (Witmer, 1973, 130:132). The gospel accounts are saturated with a variety of miracles that Christ performed, not for wealth or political power, but that the world may be convinced that He was sent by the Father to bring salvation to mankind (cf. John 5:36; 10:37-38). As Isaiah prophesied, Jesus performed miracles of healing (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:16-17). He cleansed a leper with the touch of His hand (Matthew 8:1-4), and healed all manner of sickness and disease with the word of His mouth (cf. John 4:46-54). One woman who had a hemorrhage for 12 years was healed immediately simply by touching the fringe of His garment (Luke 8:43-48). Similarly, on one occasion after Jesus came into the land of Gennesaret, all who were sick in all of the surrounding region came to Him, “and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well” (Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 3:10). Generally speaking, “great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them” (Matthew 15:30, emp. added). “He cured many of infirmities, afflictions...and tomany blind He gave sight” (Luke 7:21, emp. added). Even Jesus’ enemies confessed to His “many signs” (John 11:48).
Jesus not only exhibited power over the sick and afflicted, He also showed His superiority over nature more than once. Whereas God’s prophet Moses turned water into blood by striking water with his rod (Exodus 7:20), Jesus simply willed water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:1-11). He further exercised His power over the natural world by calming the Sea of Galilee during a turbulent storm (Matthew 8:23-27), by walking on water for a considerable distance to reach His disciples (Matthew 14:25-43), and by causing a fig tree to wither away at His command. Jesus’ supernatural superiority over the physical world (which He created—Colossians 1:16) is exactly what we would expect from One Who claimed to be the Son of God.
Jesus’ miracles were not limited to the natural world, however. As further proof of His deity, He also revealed His power over the spiritual world by casting out demons. “They brought to Himmany who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word” (Matthew 8:16, emp. added). Luke also recorded that “He cured many of...evil spirits” (Luke 7:21, emp. added). Mark recorded where Jesus once exhibited power over a man overwhelmed with unclean spirits, which no one had been able to bind—not even with chains and shackles; neither could anyone tame the demon-infested man (Mark 5:1-21). Jesus, however, cured him. Afterwards, witnesses saw the man with the unclean spirits “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind” (Luke 8:35-36). On several occasions, Jesus healed individuals who were tortured by evil spirits. And, “they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, ‘What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out’” (Luke 4:36).
Finally, Jesus performed miracles that demonstrated His power even over death. Recall that when John the Baptizer’s disciples came to Jesus inquiring about His identity, Jesus instructed them to tell John that “the dead are raised” (Matthew 11:5). The widow of Nain’s son had already been declared dead and placed in a casket when Jesus touched the open coffin and told him to “arise.” Immediately, “he who was dead sat up and began to speak” (Luke 7:14-15). Lazarus had already been dead and buried for four days by the time Jesus raised him from the dead (John 11:1-44). Such a great demonstration of power over death caused “many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did” to believe in Him (John 11:45). What’s more, Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead was the climax of all of His miracles, and serves as perhaps the most convincing miracle of all (see Butt, 2002, 22:9-15).
In all, the gospel records contain some 37 specific supernatural acts that Jesus performed. If that number were to include such miracles as His virgin birth and transfiguration, and the multiple times He exemplified the ability to “read minds,” and to know the past or future without having to learn of them through ordinary means (cf. John 4:15-19; 13:21-30; 2:25), etc., the number would reach upwards of 50. Indeed, the miracles of Christ were varied and numerous. He healed the blind, lame, sick, and leprous, as well as demonstrated power over nature, demons, and death. The apostle John, who recorded miracles of Christ “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31), also commented on how “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book” (20:30, emp. added). In fact, Jesus worked so many miracles throughout His ministry on Earth that, “if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).


Butt, Kyle (2002), “Jesus Christ—Dead or Alive?” Reason & Revelation, 22:9-15, February, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/121.
Witmer, John (1973), “The Doctrine of Miracles,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 130:126-134, April.

Another Antiquated Dinosaur Engraving by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Another Antiquated Dinosaur Engraving

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Last week we posted our most recent Reason & Revelation article, in which we examined various dinosaur carvings from around the world (see Butt and Lyons, 2008). We highlighted aStegosaurus from the Ta Prohm temple near Siem Reap, Cambodia, an Apatosaurus-like dinosaur from Natural Bridges National Monument in southeastern Utah, and a dinosaur-like figure from the Havasupai Canyon in northern Arizona. Another interesting dinosaur-like engraving lies in the floor of the Carlisle Cathedral in Carlisle, England.
Founded in the 12th century, the Carlisle Cathedral has served as a meeting place for the people of northwest England for 900 years. One of the bishops of Carlisle in the 15th century was Richard Bell. He served in this position for 17 years, resigned in 1495, and died one year later (see Pryde, et al., 1996, p. 236). Bell’s body was then laid to rest in a tomb along a main aisle inside the cathedral. His tomb is inlaid with brass and currently is covered by a protective rug in order to preserve the brass engravings as much as possible. In 2002, the Canon Warden of the cathedral removed the rug in order for United Kingdom resident Philip Bell (apparently no relation to Richard Bell) to examine the tomb. According to Bell,
The brass shows Bishop Richard Bell (1.44 m or 4 ft 8½ inches long) under a Gothic canopy (2.9 m or 9 ft 5 in long), dressed in his full vestments, with his mitre (bishop’s cap) and crosier (hooked staff).
used with permission from CreationOnTheWeb.com
But it is the narrow brass fillet (2.9 m or 9½ ft long), running around the edge of the tomb, that contains the items of particular interest. Owing to the passage of time (and countless thousands of tramping feet!) parts of the fillet have long since been lost, including the entire bottom section. However, in between the words of the Latin inscription, there are depictions of various...fish, an eel, a dog, a pig, a bird... (2003, 25[4]:40).
Most remarkable, however, is an engraving of two animals with long necks and long tails. Although some of the brass engraving is worn due to 500 years of wear and tear, these curious creatures are clearly of some extinct animal. In truth, more than any other creature, they resemble the sauropod dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth.
used with permission from Enlightened.org.uk
What do critics have to say about the engravings? After passing off the animal on the left as “some kind of big cat,” one popular skeptical Web site admitted: “The animal to the right, though, does look rather more like a quadrupedal dinosaur than any other sort of animal, past or present” (“Bishop Bell’s...,” 2007). What’s more, the skeptics acknowledged the unlikelihood of the engraving being a hoax: “In the case of Bishop Bell’s dinosaur, there is no corresponding profit motive, or any other apparent motive; and also, any tampering with the tomb would have to be done in situ, in Carlisle Cathedral, and it is hard to see how a hoaxer could have gone about his work unobserved” (“Bishop Bell’s...”).
It seems clear, even to skeptics, that at least one of the two curious engravings looks like a dinosaur. What is so spectacular about a dinosaur being engraved on a tomb built in 1496? Simply that the engraving is more than 300 years older than the first dinosaur fossils found in modern times. We have no evidence of humans finding dinosaur fossils and reconstructing their skeletons until the middle of the 19th century. So how did someone engrave such a convincing picture of a dinosaur in the late 15th century? The obvious, but often rejected answer, is men once lived with these creatures, and proof of their coexistence is found all over the world in the form of physical, historical, and biblical evidence (Butt and Lyons, 2008; Lyons, 2007; Lyons, 2001). Thus, evolution’s multi-million-year-dinosaur timetable is wrong.


Bell, Philip (2003), “Bishop Bell’s Brass Behemoths,” Creation, 25[4]:40-44, September-November.
“Bishop Bell’s Dinosaurs” (2007), Skepticwiki, June, [On-line], URL:http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Bishop_Bell’s_Dinosaurs.
Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons (2008), “Physical Evidence for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans—Part I,” Reason & Revelation, 28[3]:17-23, March.
Lyons, Eric (2001), “Behemoth and Leviathan—Creatures of Controversy,” Reason & Revelation, 21[1]:1-7, January.
Lyons, Eric (2007), “Historical Support for the Coexistence of Dinosaurs and Humans—Part I &Part II,” Reason & Revelation, 27[9-10]:65-71,73-79, September-October.
Pryde, E.B., D.E. Greenway, S. Porter, and I. Roy (1996), Handbook of British Chronology(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), third edition.

Are Americans Becoming Uncivil? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Are Americans Becoming Uncivil?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Depending on your age and generation, no doubt you have noticed a change that has come over much of the American population. Citizens are becoming more discourteous, impolite, and rude. A recent Associated Press poll on American public attitudes about rudeness found that 69% of those polled believe that Americans are more rude than 20 or 30 years ago (“American Manners...,” 2005). Perhaps you have approached the cash register of a store or fast food restaurant in hopes of checking out promptly. Instead, you are faced with employees chatting with each other, seemingly oblivious to your presence. When you eventually are noticed, the employees’ nonverbal signals make you feel as if you have interrupted them. What’s more, you cannot help noticing that their conversation is frivolous chit-chat, centered perhaps on social life, romantic relationships, or dissatisfaction with their employer or fellow employee. The very idea that their jobs actually depend on customer satisfaction seems to be of no concern. Where once American business literally survived and thrived on the notion that “the customer is always right,” now the widespread sentiment seems to be “I could care less about the customer—just pay me for doing as little as possible.” Attentiveness, generosity, and caring service have all but evaporated. How many times have you entered a restaurant and noticed unclean tables and unkempt floors? How often have you made a trip to the grocery store only to encounter shelves unstocked or in disarray—with the very item you came for sold out? In bygone days, the average grocery store manager would have considered such a situation with disgust—even alarm due to lost sales and customer dissatisfaction—and called the negligent employees to account for their inefficiency.
Another indication of the decline in virtue in American culture in the last 50 years is the behavior of motorists on America’s highways. Where once most truckers were renowned for their unassuming, courteous driving habits and their willingness to give way to automobiles and even extend assistance to the stranded motorist, an increasing number of truckers bully smaller vehicles by changing lanes unsafely, and radio airways are filled with foul language and truckers cursing other truckers. Exceeding the speed limit is now the norm on the Interstate. Cutting in line, tail-gaiting, and angry exclamations are commonplace on the highways of the nation.
Politics has become an even nastier business. Cutthroat tactics and bashing opponents characterize a majority. In fact, the polite, civil candidate is pummeled and left in a state of shock. Children speak disrespectfully to adults in public. Individuals cut in line in stores, post offices, and amusement parks. Telemarketers seem kind and genuinely concerned—until the customer refuses to buy the product. Then the telemarketer often turns nasty and shows obvious irritation with the consumer. Where once the average gas station provided eager service to customers—not only pumping the gasoline, but washing the windows, checking the oil, and adding air to the tires—it’s now “every man for himself.”
Granted, it could be much worse. Compare America with many other nations of the world. Take, for example, Islamic nations, where the people press against each other in the streets and in the marketplace, jostling each other and competing for services. Many seem to be completely focused on self—with little thought and concern for those around them. But historically, such societal circumstances have not been typical of America.
What has happened? How can such profound change come over an entire civilization? The Founders of the American Republic anticipated just this social scenario—and even described the circumstances under which it would occur. The Founders predicted that: if Americans do not retain an ardent commitment to the moral principles of Christianity, civil society will wane.
Consider the following prophetic voices. In the 1811 New York State Supreme Court case of The People v. Ruggles, the “Father of American Jurisprudence,” James Kent, explained the importance of punishing unchristian behavior, when he wrote that Americans are a “people whose manners are refined, and whose morals have been elevated and inspired with a more enlarged benevolence, by means of the Christian religion” (1811, emp. added). The gentility of the American spirit has historically been contrasted with those peoples “whose sense of shame would not be effected by what we should consider the most audacious outrages upon decorum” (1811, emp. added).
Such thinking was typical of the Founders. In his scathing repudiation of Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, Continental Congress president Elias Boudinot insisted: “[O]ur country should be preserved from the dreadful evil of becoming enemies to the religion of the Gospel, which I have no doubt, but would be introductive of the dissolution of government and the bonds of civil society” (1801, p. xxii, emp. added). Dr. Benjamin Rush added his blunt observation: “Without the restraints of religion and social worship, men become savages” (1951, 1:505, emp. added). Noah Webster stated: “[R]eligion has an excellent effect in repressing vices [and] in softening the manners of men” (1794, Vol. 2, Ch. 44, emp. added).
The Founders believed that should Christian principles be jettisoned by Americans, manners would be corrupted, and social anarchy and the fall of the Republic would naturally follow.Declaration signer and “The Father of the American Revolution,” Samuel Adams, issued a solemn warning in a letter to James Warren on February 12, 1779: “A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy” (1908, 4:124). In his inaugural address as the Governor of Massachusetts in 1780, Founder John Hancock insisted that both our freedom and our very existence as a Republic will be determined by public attachment to Christian morality: “Manners, by which not only the freedom, but the very existence of the republics, are greatly affected, depend much upon the public institutions of religion and the good education of youth” (as quoted in Brown, 1898, p. 269, emp. added). The words of Declaration signer John Witherspoon are frightening: “Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction” (1802, 3:41, emp. added). In contrasting the general religion of Christianity with Islam, John Quincy Adams likewise explained:
The fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies. There is no denomination of Christians, which denies or misunderstands this doctrine. All understand it alike—all acknowledge its obligations; and however imperfectly, in the purposes of Divine Providence, its efficacy has been shown in the practice of Christians, it has not been wholly inoperative upon them. Its effect has been upon the manners of nations. It has mitigated the horrors of war—it has softened the features of slavery—it has humanized the intercourse of social life (1830, p. 300, emp. added).
There is no question that the influence of the Christian religion in America has been significantly curtailed during the last half-century. So what would we expect to occur? We would fully expect citizens to become uncivil, impolite, and discourteous. We would expect them to abandon the fundamental principle of human conduct articulated by Jesus Himself: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12). As people move further away from Christianity, they will inevitably become selfish, self-centered, and savage in their treatment of their fellowman. The only hope, the only solution, is to return to the principles of the religion of Jesus Christ.


Adams, John Quincy (1830), The American Annual Register (New York: E. & G.W. Blunt).
Adams, Samuel (1904-1908), The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed. Harry Cushing (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons).
“American Manners Poll” (2005), Associated Press, [On-line], URL:http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-10-14-rudeness-poll-method_x.htm.
Boudinot, Elias (1801), The Age of Revelation (Philadelphia, PA: Asbury Dickins), [On-line], URL:http://www.google.com/books?id=XpcPAAAAIAAJ.
Brown, Abram (1898), John Hancock, His Book (Boston, MA: Lee & Shepard Publishers), [On-line],URL: http://www.archive.org/details/johnhancock00browrich.
The People v. Ruggles (1811), 8 Johns 290 (Sup. Ct. NY.), N.Y. Lexis 124.
Rush, Benjamin (1951), Letters of Benjamin Rush, ed. L.H. Butterfield (Princeton, NJ: The American Philosophical Society).
Webster, Noah (1794), “The Revolution in France,” in Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805, ed. Ellis Sandoz (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund), 1998 edition, [On-line], URL: http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/817/69415.
Witherspoon, John (1802), The Works of the Rev. John Witherspoon (Philadelphia, PA: William Woodard).

When Did Jesus Go to Egypt? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


When Did Jesus Go to Egypt?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Most people familiar with the few details given in Scripture about the early life of Jesus are aware of the fact that following the visit from the wise men, Matthew indicates that Joseph and Mary took Jesus and fled to Egypt at the command of God (Matthew 2:13-14). Later, after Herod’s death, Jesus’ family departed Egypt for Nazareth where they made their home (Matthew 2:19-23). According to some, however, Luke’s account of the early life of Jesus contradicts Matthew’s (Wells, 2011; cf. Ehrman, 2005, p. 10). Luke indicates that after Jesus’ birth, and once Mary’s days of “purification according to the law of Moses were completed” (2:22), which would have been about six weeks after Jesus was born (Leviticus 12:3-4), Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-38). The inspired physician then writes: “So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth” (Luke 2:39, emp. added). Since Luke mentions nothing about Egypt, and Matthew says nothing about a trip to Nazareth soon after Jesus’ birth, allegedly either Matthew or Luke is mistaken.
The allegation that Matthew and Luke’s accounts are contradictory is actually based on an assumption: the skeptic assumesthat Matthew and Luke each included all of the whereabouts of Jesus’ family during His early life. The fact is, however, such a conjecture cannot logically be upheld unless both of the inspired writers claimed to write exhaustive, chronological accounts of everything Jesus did. Neither writer made such a declaration (cf. John 21:25).
Could it be that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus “returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth” (Luke 2:39) before going to Egypt, and then after traveling to and from Egypt they returned to Nazareth again (Matthew 2:23)? The Holy Spirit certainly could have inspired Matthew to write his truthful account of some of the life of Christ without mentioning a brief “return” to Galilee. However, it is also very possible, and perhaps more likely, that Luke simply omitted Joseph, Mary, and Jesus’ trip to Egypt, which sequentially could be placed between Luke 2:38 and 2:39. Bible writers frequently moved from one subject to the next without intending to give every action that took place during a particular time or the exact order in which something was done or taught (cf. Luke 4:1-3; Matthew 4:1-11). Later, for example, in chapter 24, Luke omitted the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in Galilee, which both Matthew and John mentioned. The events that Luke recorded in the first 43 verses of chapter 24 all took place on the very day of Jesus’ resurrection. The final four verses of Luke 24 (vss. 50-53), however, took place more than five weeks later (see Acts 1:1-12). Yet Luke simply recorded the various events in chapter 24 (vss. 1-43,44-49,50-53) and connected them with the Greek conjunction de (“but” or “and”), which has no specific chronological implications. The same is true with the Greek conjunction kai, which Luke used in 2:39.
Consider also an example from Luke’s account of some of the acts of some of theapostles (in the book we call Acts). In chapter 9, Luke mentions that Paul went to Jerusalem after becoming a Christian (Acts 9:26). But, according to Galatians 1:17-18, Paul actually went to Arabia, back to Damascus, and then after three years he went up to Jerusalem. Once again, Luke, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Timothy 5:18), omitted a part of someone’s life. But such an omission is in no way proof of dishonesty—anymore than if, at the funeral of a 90-year-old man, someone gives a synopsis of his life, and omits the two years he spent in Warner, Oklahoma in junior college.
Keep in mind that the Bible is a book that covers approximately 4,000 years—from Creation to the end of the first century A.D. God’s purpose in giving us His Word was not to tell us about everything that every person ever did up to that point in time. In fact, even the one Person, Who is the main theme of Scripture—Jesus—has relatively little recorded about Him in comparison to every place He ever went and everything He ever did or said. As the apostle John proclaimed, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (20:30-31, emp. added). In truth, “there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (21:25, emp. added).
Simply because Matthew or Luke or any other Bible writer does not mention everything that every other Bible writer mentions about the same general time or event, does not mean that someone has erred. Rather, just as we oftentimes tell stories today and include certain details that others omit, so did the inspired writers of Scripture. Honest truth-seekers (Proverbs 8:17) will come to the logical conclusion that the Bible writers supplemented (not contradicted) each others’ accounts of biblical events.


Ehrman, Bart (2005), Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (San Francisco, CA: Harper).
Wells, Steve (2011), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/egypt.html.

Kingly Chronology in the Book of Ezra by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Kingly Chronology in the Book of Ezra

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

As if the spelling and pronunciation of Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes were not problematic enough for the average Bible student, one must also consider these Persian kings in light of the order in which they are mentioned in the book of Ezra. According to history, the Persian kings reigned in the following order: Cyrus (560-530 B.C.), Cambyses (530-522), Smerdis (522), Darius I (522-486), Ahasuerus (486-465), Artaxerxes I (465-424), Darius II (423-405), and Artaxerxes II (405-358) [see Cook, 1983, p. 350]. The difficulty that presents itself in the book of Ezra is that events surrounding letters which King Artaxerxes received from, and wrote to, the enemies of the Jews (see Ezra 4:7-23) are mentioned before the reign of Darius I (Ezra 4:24-6:15). If it is a proven fact that Darius served as king before Artaxerxes, why is the kingship of Darius recorded in the book of Ezra subsequent to the reign of Artaxerxes (recorded in Ezra 4:7-23)?
First, it needs to be pointed out that the Darius of the book of Ezra was in fact Darius I and not Darius II. The second Darius lived too late in history to have been contemporary with the rebuilding of the temple. Thus, one cannot solve the question at hand simply by suggesting that the Darius cited in Ezra was really Darius II, who lived after Artaxerxes I.
Second, some may attempt to solve this difficulty by alleging that Artaxerxes II was the king who reigned during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah’s return to Jerusalem, while Artaxerxes I was the king mentioned prior to Darius’ reign (Ezra 4:7-23). This solution is unacceptable, however, since Artaxerxes II lived several years after the events recorded in Ezra and Nehemiah.
So what is the answer? Why is the kingship of Darius recorded in the book of Ezra following events connected with the kingship of Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:7-23)—a king who is thought to have reigned after Darius? One possible solution to this difficulty is that Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes of Ezra 4:6,7-23 were respectively Cambyses (530-522) and Smerdis (522)—kings of Persia (listed above) who reigned before Darius I. Since Persian kings frequently had two or more names, it is not unfathomable to think that Cambyses and Smerdis also may have gone by the names Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes (see Wilson, 1996; see also Fausset, 1998).
Another explanation to this perceived dilemma is that the information concerning the kings of Persia in Ezra 4 is grouped according to theme rather than by chronology. Instead of having a record where everything in chapter four is in sequential order, it is reasonable to conclude that verses 6-23 serve as a parenthetical comment and that Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes (4:6-7) are indeed Ahasuerus (486-465) and Artaxerxes I (465-424) of history (rather than the aforementioned Cambyses and Smerdis).
Bible students must keep in mind that just as there is more than one way to write a book in the twenty-first century, ancient writers frequently recorded events chronologically while occasionally inserting necessary non-sequential material (e.g., Genesis 10-11; Matthew 28:2-4). It would have been natural for the writer of the book of Ezra to follow a discussion of the problems related to rebuilding the Jerusalem temple (4:1-5) with information on a similar resistance the Jews encountered while rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (4:6-23). Although the details in verses 6-23 initially may puzzle our chronologically preconditioned mindset, they actually fit very well in their arrangement with the overall theme of the chapter. In verse 24, the story picks up where it left off in verse 5. The writer returns to his focus on the problems with the rebuilding of the temple, which lingered until “the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia” (Ezra 4:24).
Regardless of which explanation one accepts for the inclusion of verses 6-23 in Ezra 4, they both provide a sufficient answer to the perceived difficulty. It is my judgment that the second of these two possibilities serves as the best, and most logical, explanation.


Cook, J.M. (1983), The Persians (London: The Orion Publishing Group).
Fausset, A.R. (1998), Fausset’s Bible Dictionary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Wilson, R. Dick (1996), “Artaxerxes,” International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).