The Intricate and Masterful Design of the Human Ear by Aaron R. Morrison, M.D.



The Intricate and Masterful Design of the Human Ear

by  Aaron R. Morrison, M.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the strengths of Apologetics Press for the past 28 years has been the way A.P. publications have reflected an accurate blending of science and Bible. Since the Creator produced both the Bible and the physical Universe, no contradiction between the two is possible. Yet much of the “science” being alleged today is pseudo-science rooted in evolutionary theory. And much of the “religion” being perpetrated today is pseudo-religion rooted in human theology. In reality, true science is in complete harmony with a correct interpretation of the teaching of the Bible.

Through all these years, A.P. has maintained its longstanding tradition of providing the public with cutting edge analysis of the central scientific and religious issues of the day. In that spirit, we are expanding our science department by building a team of scientists who are academically credentialed in their respective fields of scientific expertise. They are well-qualified to address matters of science as they relate to the overall creation/evolution controversy. Articles by these auxiliary staff scientists will be appearing both in Reason & Revelation as well as on the A.P. Web site.

With this issue of R&R, we provide our readers with the first of these articles written by one of our scientific writers. Dr. Morrison holds an M.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and is completing his residency in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery.]

Have you ever escaped the haste of society and taken refuge on an ocean beach, lakeshore, or riverbank, and listened to the calming sound of the waves as they collapsed upon the shore? Have you been amazed at the powerful crash of thunder overhead during a thunderstorm? Do you enjoy listening to the peaceful and varied songs of nature’s winged vocalists? Do you ever take solace hearing the comforting words of a loving friend or family member?

The human hearing mechanism is tremendously complex and wonderfully designed. A brief look at the structure and function of the ear will, at a minimum, lead one to a greater appreciation for the complexity of the ear. More important, it should lead one to a greater appreciation for the One who is responsible for the intelligent design of the ear. For those who contend that organic evolution is responsible for the development of the human body (and nature in general), a closer look at this organ system ought to provoke reconsideration and an honest assessment of the impossibility of random events leading to such marvelous complexity.

The ear is divided into three parts: the external, middle, and inner divisions. The structures of the inner ear are responsible not only for sound processing, but also balance. First, let us identify the structures contained within each division of the ear; then we will examine how a sound wave travels through each portion of the ear and eventually is perceived as sound.


Figure 1: The Pinna

The external ear is composed of the pinna (auricle), the external auditory canal (EAC), or simply ear canal, and the outer layer of the tympanic membrane (TM), also known as the eardrum. [NOTE: The TM itself is composed of three layers: the outer squamous epithelial layer, the middle layer of tough connective tissue, and the inner layer of cuboidal epithelium.]

The pinna confers an acoustical advantage of approximately 2-5 decibels (dB) in humans (see Figure 1). The EAC serves not only to protect the middle ear but also enhances hearing by 5-10 dB at frequencies near 2000 Hertz (Hz) which are important frequencies for understanding human speech. The outer third of the EAC is surrounded by cartilage while the inner two-thirds are surrounded by bone.


The middle ear is composed of the middle and inner layers of the TM, the ossicles, also known as the malleus (or hammer), incus (or anvil), and stapes (or stirrup), the smallest bones in the human body (see Figure 2), the two smallest muscles in the body, the stapedius and tensor tympani, and the opening to the Eustachian tube.

Figure 2: The Ossicles

Together, the middle ear structures function as a transformer of sound energy from the air (in the EAC) to the fluids of the inner ear (cochlea). As sound waves contact the TM and create movement of the eardrum, the ossicles (malleus, incus, and stapes) are set in motion. The malleus is connected to the TM, while the incus is connected to the malleus, and also to the stapes. The stapes, in turn, is in contact with the oval window of the cochlea (see Figure 3). The stapes is the smallest ossicle and, interestingly, is of adult size and form at birth (Lee, 2003, p. 13). The stapes’ foot plate rests in the oval window of the cochlea and acts like a piston. Carefully note the beautiful design of this mechanism: as sound energy is collected over the relatively large surface area of the TM and concentrated on the small footplate of the stapes, the mechanical advantage results in an increased auditory sensitivity of approximately 24-25 decibels. An additional auditory advantage of 2-3 decibels is obtained by the lever action of the ossicles themselves, resulting in a total middle ear auditory advantage of approximately 27 decibels (Templer, et al., 1987, p. 21).

Middle Ear
Figure 3: The Middle Ear
Fig. 1,2,3 LifeArt image copyright 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
All rights reserved.

It is interesting to note that the two smallest muscles in the human body are located in the middle ear space. The smaller of these two muscles, the stapedius, is just over one millimeter in length. As its name suggests, it is attached to the stapes. What is the function of the smallest muscle in the body? When loud sounds are encountered (sounds louder than approximately 80 decibels), the stapedius contracts and holds the ossicular chain in a more rigid position in order to prevent excessive movement of the stapes (Calhoun, et al., 2001, p. 1624). This serves to buffer the intensity of sound wave transmission to the cochlea. If an individual develops paralysis of the stapedius, this buffering mechanism is lost and loud noises become deafening.

The stapedius plays a very important role in preserving our hearing. The “hair cells” in the cochlea (discussed below) are highly sensitive and repeated exposure to loud noises over time destroys hair cell function and is irreversible. Hearing loss is the unfortunate consequence of hair cell destruction. This is why otolaryngologists encourage everyone to use hearing protection when they are working around loud machinery or taking part in recreational activities that result in significant noise exposure (e.g., gunfire).

The second smallest muscle in the human body is the tensor tympani. Despite years of technical research and study, the role of this muscle is not fully understood. Among other functions, it has been credited with decreasing the amplitude of sound energy transmitted to the cochlea. However, acoustic reflex data has suggested that the tensor tympani does not normally respond to intense sounds (Calhoun, et al., 2001, p. 1624). The tensor tympani is connected to the malleus, the ossicle which itself is connected to the tympanic membrane. When the tensor tympani muscle contracts, it pulls on the malleus and tenses, or tightens, the tympanic membrane (hence the name, tensor tympani). This appears to dampen the vibrations of the eardrum and may indeed reduce the amount of energy carried along the ossicles to the cochlea.

Figure 4
Figure 4

The eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx (the area behind the nasal passages and above the oral cavity) and serves to equalize the middle ear pressure (see Figure 4). When individuals suffer from eustachian tube dysfunction (where the eustachian tube fails to open and close normally), there is development of excess negative pressure in the middle ear space. This leads to retraction of the tympanic membrane and decreased efficiency of the conductive mechanism that transmits sound from the eardrum to the cochlea (via the ossicles). The negative pressure also can lead to fluid accumulation in the middle ear space, which further impedes the conduction of sound energy. Children suffer from eustachian tube dysfunction more frequently than adults. Consequently, many children must undergo myringotomy (incision in the tympanic membrane) and placement of pressure equalization tubes (i.e., ear tubes) to relieve the negative middle ear pressure and allow drainage of fluid that may have collected in the middle ear space.


The internal ear is composed of the cochlea and the vestibular system. The vestibular system is composed of the semicircular canals, utricle, and saccule.

Cochlear Anatomy

The cochlea is shaped like a snail, having approximately 2¾ turns, and is surrounded by the hardest bone in the human body. The cochlea is composed of three fluid-filled cavities that wind around the central portion of the cochlea, known as the modiolus (See Figure 5).

Inner ear
Figure 5: The Cochlea
LifeArt image copyright 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.

These three fluid-filled cavities are known as scalae (from the Latin meaning “a stairway”)—the scala vestibuli, the scala media, and the scala tympani. The scala vestibuli and scala tympani are connected via a duct at the apex of the cochlea (the helicotremma). The scala media is suspended between the scala vestibuli and scala tympani. There are two different fluids that fill the scalae of the cochlea: perilymph and endolymph. The perilymph is contained within the two continuous scalae (i.e., the scala vestibuli and scala tympani). Perilymph is very similar in composition to extracellular fluid in the human body (high sodium concentration and low potassium concentration). Endolymph is contained within the scala media and is similar in composition to intracellular fluid (high potassium content and low sodium content) (Pasha, 2006, p. 302).

If you could enter the scala vestibuli at the base of the cochlea (through a structure known as the oval window) and “swim” upward through the perilymph in a curving fashion to the apex of the cochlea, you would cross over to the scala tympani at the helicotremma and follow the curve of the cochlea downhill through perilymph, exiting through a structure known as the round window (which is covered by a thin membrane). With this understanding of cochlear anatomy, perhaps it will be easier to appreciate the path of the fluid wave that passes through the cochlea when a sound wave contacts the TM and is conducted to the oval window via the ossicles. The stapes footplate (the oval-shaped bony portion of the stapes) rests in the oval window. The movement of the ossicles and piston-like action of the stapes creates a fluid wave in the scala vestibuli. The fluid wave then travels through the scala media (which contains endolymph and is suspended between the scala vestibuli and scala tympani) and then to the scala tympani. Further discussion of cochlear anatomy is necessary to understand what happens next.

The scala media is bounded by Reissner’s membrane (upper border) and the basilar membrane (lower border). The organ of Corti (the sensory end organ for hearing) rests on the basilar membrane. The organ of Corti has special “hair cells” that rise to terminate in (or near) the tectorial membrane. There are approximately 30,000 hair cells in the cochlea (Whitehead, 2006). As the fluid wave causes vibration of the scala media, the motion of the hair cells leads to stimulation of nerve cells at the base of each hair cell. There are approximately 30,000 neurons (nerve cells) that connect these hair cells to the brain (Calhoun, 2001, p. 1631). This neural signal is communicated along the cochlear division of the vestibulocochlear nerve to the brain, where further processing takes place.

As the stapes moves inward and outward in the oval window (like a piston), a wave is created in the fluids of the inner ear (the perilymph and endolymph). This wave travels from the base of the cochlea to the apex. The wave ultimately leads to hair cell motion in the organ of Corti. The mechanical properties of the basilar membrane determine the distance that the wave travels toward the apex of the cochlea. The traveling wave activity for high-frequency sounds is more pronounced at the base of the cochlea, whereas wave activity at the apex of the cochlea is more pronounced with low-frequency sounds.

Thus, the cochlea is said to be tonontopically organized, i.e., because high frequency sounds correspond with the mechanical movement of the basilar membrane at the base of the cochlea and low frequency sounds are associated with movement of the basilar membrane at the apex of the cochlea (Templer, et al., 1987, p. 14). The cochlea also performs place analysis because of the spatial representation of frequency information (p. 14). Additionally, the traveling wave results in frequency information which is encoded by the rate of neuron (nerve cell) firing. Individual nerve cells may fire at rates up to (and beyond) 1000 times per second (p. 14). It is interesting to note that when single fibers of the cochlear nerve are studied, each neuron is specifically tuned to be activated with a low threshold at a characteristic frequency. Once again, the characteristic frequency of a nerve fiber is determined by the place of attachment to the cochlea, i.e, the low frequency fibers terminate in the apex of the cochlea while the high frequency fibers terminate in the base of the cochlea (p. 15). As one author has observed: “[T]he ear has the capability to encode acoustic signals on an array of neurons that carry frequency specific information. The resolving power of the cochlea enables extraordinary discrimination among complex signals” (p. 15, emp. added).

Note how the ear converts sound wave energy into mechanical energy as sound travels through the EAC, contacts the TM, and sets the ossicles in motion. Mechanical energy is then converted into hydraulic energy when the stapes creates a fluid wave in the cochlea. Finally, the hydraulic energy is converted into electrical (neural) energy with movement of the hair cells in the cochlea. Ultimately, this neural energy is transmitted along the vestibulocochlear nerve and interpreted by the brain as sound. Such sophistication and complexity simply could not have evolved.

Vestibular System

As noted earlier, the vestibular system is also contained within the internal ear. The vestibular system includes the semicircular canals, which detect rotational acceleration and play a large role in maintaining balance (Pasha, 2006, p. 302). Also within the vestibular system are the utricle and saccule (see Figure 6), which detect linear acceleration and changes in gravity, and therefore also play a significant role in maintaining balance (p. 303). Disruptions in the function of the vestibular system can lead to debilitating symptoms of vertigo, imbalance, nausea, and vomiting.

Figure 6
Figure 6

Central Auditory System

The information collected in the cochlea and vestibule is then transmitted to the brain in the form of electrical signals (via the eighth cranial nerve, also known as the vestibulocochlear nerve). This nerve passes through the internal auditory canal, and the cochlear division of the nerve proceeds to an area in the brain known as the cochlear nucleus. The vestibular portion of the nerve travels to the vestibular nuclei.

Review of the pathways that the electrical signals navigate in the brain is beyond the scope of this article. The continued complexity of the signal transduction and processing in the brain is a separate study that further illustrates the amazing design in the hearing mechanism. The brain processes and interprets the information from the cochlear nerve, enabling us to understand speech, enjoy the relaxing sound of the waves on the seashore, or recognize warning signals such as a siren or fire alarm. The brain interprets the information that is transmitted via the vestibular nerve, allowing the body to maintain balance. As long as the vestibular system is free of any pathological condition, our body’s inner ear recognizes rotational and linear acceleration as well as the effects of gravity and processes this information in a seamless manner, allowing us to move about without giving a thought to balance. Truly,

[t]he human ear is a rather wondrous instrument. It is composed of tens of thousands of component parts, can work quite flawlessly from well before we are born to more than a century of age, and is capable of performing extremely sophisticated auditory tasks. And, it works 24 hours a day! (Whitehead, 2006).


This brief examination of the marvelous mechanism of hearing should lead to a greater appreciation for our Creator as well as His creation, and serve as a reminder that our spiritual “ears” must be attuned to hearing the Lord’s teaching and instruction (Matthew 11:15; 13:9,43). Of course, those who are physically deaf can still “hear” the Lord by reading and understanding the inspired Scriptures. In Proverbs 18:15, the author writes: “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Jesus made it clear that if we suffer from spiritual hearing loss, we will be unable to enjoy the blessings that are found in Him: “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed...lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them” (Matthew 13:15, emp. added). Jesus went on to say: “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:16-17).

The apostle Paul also discussed the topic of hearing. He warned Timothy of individuals who desire to hear false doctrine rather than the sound teaching of our Lord and Savior: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). We must attune our ears to listen intently to God’s Word alone and not be turned aside to the teachings or creeds of man. In doing so, we have the reassurance that we can overcome and partake of the tree of life: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

Certainly, the wonderful structure, function, and complexity of the human ear is evidence of the Mighty Creator, the Designer not only of the ear, but the heavens and the Earth as well (“God, who made the world and everything in it...,” Acts 17:24). David certainly appreciated God’s design of the human body when he declared: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Indeed, “[i]f we had no other piece of evidence in the Universe to study, the human ear would be sufficient proof of the existence of the Creator” (Miller, 2006, 12:91).

While it is interesting to learn of the intricate detail and divine design used in creating the human ear, infinitely more wonderful is the knowledge (through the Scriptures) that the Creator’s ear is open to the petitions of His children: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). May we stand in awe of the matchless Creator, the Redeemer of mankind, and listen to His inspired Word, knowing that His ears are open to our prayers if we walk according to His will.


Bailey, Byron, et al. (2001), Head & Neck Surgery—Otolaryngology (Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins).

Lee, K.J. (2003), Essential Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery (New York: McGraw-Hill).

Miller, Dave (2006), “Listen For Design,” Discovery, 12:91, December.

Pasha, Raza (2006), Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Clinical Reference Guide (San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing).

Templer, Jerry, et al. (1987), Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery: Principles & Concepts (St. Louis, MO: Ishiyaku EuroAmerica).

Whitehead, Gordon (2006), “A Brief Journey Through the Ear,” [On-line], URL: http://www.digital-recordings.com/audiocd/journey.html#eighth.

The Immutability of God by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.



The Immutability of God

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

[NOTE: During the February 12, 2009 Darwin Day debate with Kyle Butt, Dan Barker listed 14 alleged Bible discrepancies as evidence against God’s existence. His first claim (six minutes and 25 seconds into his opening speech) was that the Bible gives contradictory descriptions of God because it says that God changes and does not change. His allegation is refuted in the following article written by Caleb Colley in 2004.]

The Bible plainly asserts that the qualities of God have never changed, and will never change. Consider a sampling of what the inspired writers penned concerning God’s immutability:

  • Psalm 90:2: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the Earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
  • Psalm 102:25-27: “Of old You laid the foundation of the Earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.”
  • Malachi 3:6: “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”
  • Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
  • James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

Some assert that the concept of an unchanging God is ridiculous. As one critic put it,

Christians believe that [a] their God is “unchanging.” They also believe that [b] their God is jealous, as mentioned explicitly in Exodus 20:5, and that [c] their God is also full of wrath and anger (numerous citations can be found in the Bible which support this). If the Christian believes [a], [b], and [c] above, then according to them their God must always be jealous, angry and wrathful (i.e., God must be pretty miserable) [Thorn, 2000, parenthetical item in orig.].

Of course, the fact that our unchanging God has emotions such as anger and wrath (and emotions that are antithetical to anger and wrath, such as happiness and gladness, which Thorn ignored completely), based on His perfectly righteous nature, does not detract from His deity. After all, if God’s nature did not cause sin to anger Him, and righteousness did not please Him, His nature, as revealed in the Bible, would be both false and irrelevant. God would be incapable of making decisions based on His objective standards, and would be unqualified to be our God.

God, in His relations with humans, is unchanging in that He opposes all sin and unrighteousness, while approving and appreciating righteous living, and giving all men the opportunity to be saved. God certainly is capable of changing His mind without changing His nature. For example, God tested Moses by telling him to get out of the way, so that God could destroy the “stiff-necked” nation of Israel, and make of Moses a great nation (Exodus 32:9-10). Moses, however, pleaded with God, and He “relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people” (verse 14). God knew ahead of time what Moses’ answer would be, just as He knew that Abraham would do His will when He tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his special son, Isaac (see Genesis 22; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 94:9-10; John 2:25). In this instance, God simply presented Moses (later labeled the meekest man in the entire world—Numbers 12:3) with the opportunity to become the ancestor of the divinely chosen people, but Moses refused, choosing to appeal to God’s mercy. God considered Moses’ humble appeal when He decided to preserve Israel; it was the unchanging nature of God that caused Him, in this particular instance, to act as He did (cf. Genesis 6:6; Jonah 3:10).

God had not promised a particular punishment to the people of Israel for their disobedience—God did not break a promise to Israel. God cannot lie, and He certainly did not do so in this case (see Colley, 2004a). God had merely told Moses what He intended to do, and reciprocated Moses’ “repentance,” on the behalf of the entire nation, with His own.

Inherent in the fact that God cannot lie (see Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 6:18) is the fact that His characteristics do not change. If they did, the righteous attributes of humans that please Him one day might not please Him on the next day, and humans would never know what to do in order to satisfy Him. Worse still, we might approach the judgment seat of Christ in the Day of Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10), only to discover that God had created different rules, of which we were unaware.

To twist Exodus 32:9-14 into an attack on God’s reliability, then, is blasphemous. Instead, we should understand the clear implications of the passage: (1) the fervent prayers of righteous people really do “avail much” (James 5:16); (2) it is unpleasant for God to destroy His creatures (2 Peter 3:9; see Keil, 1996, 1:468); and (3) God allows Himself to change His purpose when the actions of humans justify it (Jonah 3:10; see Coffman, 1985, p. 444).

Some assert that the Bible is not reliable because it makes evident that God changed the requirements for serving Him when He nailed the Old Law to the cross of Christ (Colossians 2:16). They assert that when God put away the Old Law and brought the New Law into effect, God evinced that He can change, so, even if He does exist, He cannot be trusted. Indeed, if it were true that God’s changing of some requirements rendered His divine nature altered, then the biblical concept of God would be shattered, because, in that case, God frequently would have stood in complete contradiction of Himself. And so would Jesus when He spoke certain teachings while in human form. As one skeptic, writing for Agnostic Review of Christianity, commented: “If Jesus has always existed, has always been the same, and is also God, then this deity is psychotic. He issues laws that he ignores, commands people to obey these laws, rebukes them for trying to follow the laws, and practices situational ethics” (“Sticks and Stones…,” n.d., emp. added). First-century gnostic Christians, in attempting to reconcile perceived differences between the character of the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, asserted that two distinct gods were responsible for the two testaments. They believed that the Old Testament god, Jehovah, was bumbling and inept, while the god revealed in the New Testament was the true god (see Layton, 1987, p. 134).

However, God did not change His nature in order to bring the New Testament into effect. The New Testament church, in which men can be saved from damnation, was in the mind of God from before the Earth was established; it was His eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:10-11). In fact, the Old Testament contains many prophecies concerning the church (e.g., Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 2:2-3; Daniel 2:44; see Silcox, n.d.), helping us to see that one purpose of the Old Law was to prepare humanity (in several different aspects, not the least of which was the establishment of Christ’s lineage) for the coming of Christ and His Law (Luke 24:44; Galatians 3:24). When the Old Law was nailed to Christ’s cross, the rules for obedience were changed in order to allow men to appropriate the blood of Christ to their souls (to wash away sin; see Acts 22:16). The blood of bulls and goats no longer was necessary in order to appease God’s anger, because the perfect Lamb had been sacrificed once and for all (Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 3:18).

Finally, observe that the fact that God is not opposed to all change does not impose upon His immutability. He instituted the changing seasons (Genesis 1:14), and Psalm 102:25-26 illustrates that the Earth can be changed by an unchanging God, a fact that also was illustrated quite graphically by the Noahic Flood (Genesis 6-8). And, when we leave this life to slip into the timeless side of eternity, we will be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

God is not going to budge in His firm stand against sin. Ultimately, unforgiven sin will be punished (Romans 6:23; see Colley, 2004b). However, just as sin always has demanded strict punishment in every dispensation, God always has freely offered salvation to those willing to obey His message. God will pardon, through Christ’s sacrifice, those who repent and obey Him.


Coffman, James Burton (1985), Commentary on Exodus (Abilene, TX: ACU Press).

Colley, Caleb (2004a), “God Cannot Lie,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2561.

Colley, Caleb (2004b), “God’s Mercy and Justice,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1860.

Keil, C.F. (1996 reprint), Commentary on the Old Testament—The Pentateuch (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).

Layton, Bentley (1987), The Gnostic Scriptures (Canterbury: SCM Press).

Silcox, Preston (no date), “The Church Promised and Prophesied,” [On-line], URL: http://www.gospelpreceptor.com/SilcoxP5.htm.

“Sticks and Stones, or, Jesus the Son of God Thumbs His Nose at God the Father” (no date), Agnostic Review of Christianity, [On-Line], URL: http://members.fortunecity.com/brad1/stick_stone.html.

Thorn, Anton (2000), “An Unchanging God?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1019/Unchanging_God.htm.

The Human Skin—Engineered by God by Taylor Richardson



The Human Skin—Engineered by God

by  Taylor Richardson

In what single place can you find the following things: 19 million cells, 625 sweat glands, 90 oil glands, 65 hairs, 19 feet of blood vessels, and 19,000 sensory cells? The answer: in one square inch of human skin! The human skin is considered the largest organ in the body (about 16% of your body weight), and covers an area of 20 square feet. Your skin, or integument, has many different protective and metabolic functions that help keep your body stabilized.


You have two skin layers. The outer layer, the epidermis, consists of rows of cells about 12 to 15 deep, and is between 0.07 and 0.12 millimeters thick (about as thick as a piece of paper). This top layer is composed mainly of dead cells that are being replaced constantly by newer cells. Isaac Asimov explained the process in his book, The Human Body:

The cells at the base of the epidermis are alive, and are constantly growing and multiplying so that cell after cell is pushed upward and away from the dermis. Without a blood supply, the cell dies and much of it, aside from the inert keratin, atrophies. The vicissitudes of existence are constantly rubbing away some of this dead material from the surface of our body, but this is constantly being replaced from below, and we retain our epidermis ever fresh (1963, pp. 258-259).

Sometimes, when areas of the skin are subjected to constant friction, the epidermis responds by thickening itself in that area, creating a callus. These patches of hard skin usually are found on the soles of feet of people who walk barefoot, and on the hands of farmers. It is as though the dermis had traded in its thin plastic gloves for a pair made of leather.

The inner layer, or dermis, is a spongy, leathery area that is about one to two millimeters thick, consisting mainly of collagen (a fibrous protein found in the skin) connective tissue. The dermis is joined to the epidermis by a grooved surface that contains nerves, blood vessels, hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands, all of which have important functions. Each hair follicle, for example, contains one hair that transmits the reception of touch to sensory nerves around the follicle. Sebaceous glands produce a waxy secretion called sebum, which helps to waterproof the skin. Sweat glands help to cool the skin and keep the body temperature constant.


One of the most important functions of the skin is to provide us with a sense of touch. Werner Gitt explained it best:

The most important property of the skin is that it contains our sense of touch… The sense of touch is difficult to investigate. All other senses have a definite key organ which can be studied, but the skin is spread over the entire body and cannot easily be delimited or “switched off.” In the case of vision, scientists can observe blind persons to learn more about seeing, and they can study deaf people to learn more about hearing. But this is impossible for the sense of touch (1999, p. 41).

Receptors (from the Latin word receptor, meaning “recorder”) located at the ends of nerve fibers are used to detect stimuli and convert them into neural impulses to be sent to the brain through the peripheral and central nervous systems. Receptors also are located in the internal organs, muscles, and skeletal joints, and can detect information such as the temperature of a cup of coffee or the roughness of sand paper. Although we “touch” with our epidermis, the sense of touch actually is recorded in the dermis and passed on to the central nervous system.

Layers of Skin

Another important function of the skin is that it helps the body keep a constant temperature. Gillen, et al., wrote: “The word homeostasis comes from two Greek terms, homeo (alike or the same) and stasis (standing or remaining). Thus the word means remaining the same” (1999, italics, parenthetical items, and emp. in orig.). A person’s average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but if it increases by 7 or 8 degrees, and remains there for any of length of time, a person will almost certainly die. So how does the body keep a generally constant temperature? It does so via a method of cooling known as perspiration. The main sources of body heat are the internal organs that work all the time, such as the heart and kidneys. The heat created by these organs is carried off by the blood and distributed evenly throughout the body. This is an efficient way to diffuse the heat at a slow pace, but what happens when the body must get rid of heat quickly? Asimov explained:

We are equipped with tiny glands distributed all over our skin, about two million of them all together, the purpose of which is to bring water to the surface of the skin. On the surface this water is vaporized and heat is in this manner withdrawn from the body. The glands are sweat glands and the liquid produced is sweat or perspiration. A sweat gland consists of a tiny coiled tube, the main body of which situated deep in the dermis. The tube straightens out finally and extends up through the epidermis. The tiny opening on the surface is a pore and is just barley visible to the naked eye. When you are working or playing hard, and heat production is increased, the sweat glands accelerate their production of perspiration. This is also true when the temperature is unusually high. The rate of production may then outstrip the rate of evaporation, particularly if humidity is high, since the rate of evaporation declines with the rise in humidity. Perspiration will then collect on the body in visible drops and we are conscious of sweating (p. 265, italics in orig.).

The temperature determines how many sweat glands a person has, in the same way that the amount of sunlight determines how much melanin is in the skin. People who live in hot, humid climates tend to have more sweat glands, and produce perspiration with a smaller concentration of salt, than people living in colder, drier climates.

The skin also acts like a chemical-processing plant for the entire body. When you are outside, the skin absorbs ultraviolet rays from the Sun, and then uses them to convert chemicals into vitamin D. This vitamin is very important to our body because it helps stimulate the absorption of calcium. Without calcium, our bones grow thin and brittle, eventually leading to diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia (skeletal diseases that weaken bones). In addition, the epidermis contains a special pigment called melanin, which is responsible for the variety of color in our skin. It also acts as a protection against ultraviolet light. The melanin absorbs ultraviolet light without harming itself, and acts as a protective covering over the area beneath it. Like vitamin D, melanin is formed by the exposure to sunlight, so people in tropical regions have more melanin to protect them from the harmful ultraviolet rays, while people in northern regions have little traces of melanin because the Sun is rarely out for long periods of time. But not all people are able to produce melanin in their bodies. Occasionally, individuals are born who are incapable of forming any melanin at all. Their skin and hair are pinkish-white and their eyes are pinkish-red, because the tiny blood vessels are visible in the iris of their eyes (where there are typically colors such as blue, green, hazel, and brown). A person with this condition is referred to as an albino, indicating that they lack pigmentation in their skin. Albinism is not limited just to humans, but also is found in other species of animals as well (e.g., the white rat, the white elephant, the white tiger, etc.).

Furthermore, the skin also helps protect the inside of the body. If you have ever been to an amusement park, you probably have seen the bumper cars that you can drive to bump into other cars. Collisions in those cars are perfectly safe because of the rubber rings that surround the cars. The skin is like those rubber rings in that it acts like a shock absorber when you fall, protecting all of your internal organs. If we didn’t have this “shock absorber,” it would be practically impossible to do physical activities without damaging internal organs or bruising easily.

It is impossible that evolution could have produced such an important and complex organ as the human skin. The many intricacies of its functions are evidence of a Creator. One writer remarked: “The skin is a miracle of evolutionary engineering: it waterproofs the body, blocks out and destroys harmful bacteria, regulates temperature, and continuously communicates with the brain” (McCutcheon, 1989, p. 113). Yes, the skin is a “miracle” all right—but not a miracle of evolution. And yes, the skin was “engineered”—but the engineer was God!


Asimov, Isaac (1963), The Human Body (New York: New American Library).

Gillen, Alan L., Frank J. Sherwin III, and Alan C. Knowles (1999), The Human Body: An Intelligent Design (St. Joseph, MO: Creation Research Society).

Gitt, Werner (1999), The Wonder of Man (Bielefeld, Germany: Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung E.V.).

McCutcheon, Marc (1989), The Compass in Your Nose (Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher).

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" He Is Risen! (16:1-14) by Mark Copeland


He Is Risen! (16:1-14)


1. After Jesus was buried, His body lay in the tomb until early Sunday morning...
   a. On Saturday evening, three women bought spices to anoint Him - Mk 16:1
   b. On Sunday morning, they came to the tomb as the sun was rising - Mk 16:2

2. The woman were concerned about access to the tomb...
   a. It had been sealed with a large stone - Mk 15:46; 16:3
   b. But the large stone had been rolled away! - Mk 16:4

3. Entering the tomb, they saw a young man...
   a. Clothed in a long white robe (an angel) - Mk 16:5; cf. Mt 28:2
   b. They were alarmed, but he sought to calm their fears - Mk 16:5-6

4. His message to the women...
   a. "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He is risen!"
   b. "See the place where they laid Him."
   c. "But go, tell His disciples -- and Peter -- that He is going before you into Galilee."
   d. "There you will see Him, as He had said to you." - Mk 16:6-7

[The women left amazed and afraid (Mk 16:8).  But soon their fear would
turn into great joy!  Not just for them, but for other disciples as
well.  To appreciate why, let’s survey the appearances of Jesus in all
four gospel accounts, plus those listed by Paul...]


      1. As described in our text - Mk 16:9-11
      2. Expounded by John in his gospel - Jn 20:11-18

      1. As revealed in Matthew’s gospel - Mt 28:9-10
      2. Where Jesus reiterated what the angel had said - ibid.

      1. As described in our text - Mk 16:12-13
      2. Elaborated by Luke in his gospel - Lk 24:13-32

   D. TO PETER...
      1. Reported after the testimony of the two disciples - Lk 24:33-35
      2. Mentioned by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:5

      1. Possibly the occasion in our text - Mk 16:14
      2. Described in detail by Luke and John - Lk 24:36-43; Jn 20:19-25

      1. A week later, as described by John - Jn 20:26-31
      2. Mentioned by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:5

      1. Including Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James and John - Jn 21:1-2
      2. While they were fishing, and then eating together - Jn 21:3-25

      1. Recorded by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:6
      2. Possibly in Galilee as directed by the angel and Jesus 
           - Mk  16:7; Mt 28:10,16-17
      3. Possibly when the Great Commission was first given - Mt 28:18-20

      1. Recorded by Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:7
      2. Who previously did not believe, but then became a disciple - Jn 7:5; Ac 1:14

      1. Recorded by Luke in his gospel - Lk 24:44-49
      2. This time in Jerusalem, shortly before His ascension - Ac 1:3-8

      1. Recorded in Mark’s gospel - Mk 16:19-20
      2. Also by Luke in both of his books - Lk 24:50-53; Ac 1:9-12

[These many appearances were claimed by the disciples of Jesus.  One
might properly ask, "Why should we believe them?"  That we might have
the same joy in believing that "He is risen!", consider...


      1. Their testimony appealed to empirical evidence
         a. I.e., evidence derived from experiment and observation rather than theory
         b. They refused to accept second hand evidence - Mk 16:11,13; Jn 20:25
         c. But for forty days they were given infallible proofs - Ac 1:3; 10:41
         d. They saw, heard, and touched Him - Jn 20:24-28; 1Jn 1:1-2
      2. There is no way they could have been deceived or deluded
         a. If all they had were individual dreams, visions, or hallucinations...perhaps
         b. But they testified that Jesus appeared to them in groups as
            well as to individuals

      1. Prior to the resurrection, Jesus’ disciples were afraid and without hope
         a. They fled at his arrest - Mk 14:50
         b. Peter cowardly denied Him three times - Mk 14:66-72
         c. The women mourned His crucifixion - Lk 23:27
         d. After His death, the disciples were sad - Lk 24:13-17
         e. After His death, the disciples hid behind closed doors, for
            fear of the Jews - Jn 20:19
      2. But after the resurrection, they fearlessly praised God and proclaimed Jesus!
         a. Praising God in the temple - Lk 24:52-53
         b. Proclaiming Christ, despite persecution - Ac 5:28-32,41-42
      3. This transformation in their lives is strong evidence for the
         resurrection, as admitted by one Orthodox Jewish scholar:
         a. "If the disciples were totally disappointed and on the verge
            of desperate flight because of the very real reason of the
            crucifixion, it took another very real reason in order to
            transform them from a band of disheartened and dejected Jews
            into the most self-confident missionary society in world
            history."  - Pinchas Lapide, former Chairman of the Applied
            Linguistics Department at Israel’s Bar-Iland University
            (TIME, May 7, 1979)
         b. He concluded that a bodily resurrection could possibly have been that reason!

      1. They taught others to live holy lives - 1Th 4:1-7; Ep 4:25
      2. They lived their own lives in unimpeachable way - 1Th 2:3-12
      -- Does this sound like people who propagate lies when they know better?

      1. The apostles endured much suffering because of their testimony
         - 1Co 4:9-13; 2Co 11:23-28
      2. All but one died a martyr’s death because of their testimony
      3. Even Jesus’ brother, James, was thrown off the temple and then
         clubbed to death for his testimony
      -- There was no motive for them to persistently lie about Jesus’ resurrection!


1. As revealed in Mark’s gospel and those of Matthew, Luke, and John...
   a. Jesus Christ rose from the dead
   b. He appeared to many of His disciples
   c. Who later became witnesses of the resurrection

2. The nature of their witness does not allow for the option of being deceived or deluded...
   a. Again, they professed empirical evidence
   b. They claimed to eat and drink with Him, touch Him, see Him

3. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, there is only one alternative...
   a. These witnesses were liars, deceivers
   b. Even Paul freely admits this is the only alternative - 1Co 15:14-15

4. Is it reasonable to believe they successfully propagated a lie...?
   a. Too many people attested to the same fact
   b. They were not the kind of people to fabricate such a falsehood
   c. They lived noble lives, and were ALL willing to suffer and die for their testimony!

When we carefully examine the lives and testimony of the witnesses of
the resurrection, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that they
really saw what they claimed concerning Jesus...

                            "He is risen!"             
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

eXTReMe Tracker

Am I Old Yet? by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Am I Old Yet?

“Old. Just the sound of it incites an almost immediate negative response,” wrote Dee Bowman in The Joy of Growing Old in Christ.

“Old cars break down. Old houses demand work. Old clothes get holes in them. Old equipment doesn’t work right. Old trash stinks. Old tires get slick and dangerous.” And on and on the list goes.

But as Dee suggested there’s a good side to some things that are old. Like a comfortable old pair of shoes, an old shirt, and a grungy old pair of jeans to relax around the house. Of course, there’s nothing better than connecting and enjoying good conversion with an old friend.

Today’s my birthday. I’m turning 72. And I wonder when I will feel old. Maybe I’m like the person who quipped, “To me, old age is always a person 15 years older than I am.” I think a lot of us can relate to Jonathan Swift’s observation, “Every man desires to live long, but no man wants to be old.”

I’m part of that intrepid group of Baby Boomers who are known for their desire to stay young. Look young. And act young. In fact, some have advanced the idea that 70 is the new 50. We struggle with the phrase “senior citizen.” (Although, I’m not adverse to accepting the discount at restaurants). However, all of this is denying the inevitable.

The sobering words of the Psalmist come to mind today.

The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
–Ps. 90:10

While I’ve been blessed with good health, still feel energetic and am enthusiastic about life, one day, like all others, age with catch up with me. Life on earth will end. And I will fly away. But in the meantime, let me be used for God’s purpose.

I was thinking about a sermon I prepared several years entitled: “Honoring Senior Saints–They Still Bear Fruit in Old Age. It was designed to encourage the older people in the congregation. I guess I’m now one of them!

Currently, I’m reading The Winter of Life: Redeeming the Time, by Sewell Hall. By the way, he’s old. He’s 89. In it he uses several Bible characters both to remind and warn us about the dangers and delights of growing older.

Moses was 80 and Aaron 83 when they led Israel out of Egypt. Caleb was 85 when he said, “Give me this mountain” as he staked his claim in the promised land of Canaan. Daniel was probably over 80 when he served as Governor of Babylon and thrown into the den of lions. Both Simeon and Anna who were excited to see baby Jesus, serve as an example of faithful, older folks. And of course, “Paul, the aged,” teaches us how to deal with the thorns in the flesh, physical suffering and to “press on toward the prize.” Older people can still bear fruit for the Lord.

While I don’t want to be that old preacher who thinks he’s just as good as he ever was, and refuses to step aside, I still want to be used and bear fruit as long as possible. Whatever wisdom, knowledge or skills I may possess, I trust that I may still use them to the glory of God and for the edification of His people. I know I must release the past with whatever mistakes I’ve made or successes I’ve enjoyed. I must accept the present. And like Paul, “press on.”

Currently, we’re engaged in an itinerant ministry, traveling and combining it with preaching opportunities. In the past 22 months, we’ve been to 23 states, 10 countries and visited and/or preached for 35 different congregations.

2020 is already off to a busy beginning, having preached at 6 different congregations and towns throughout Florida. Soon, however, we are off to Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, and Ohio for meetings and preaching appointments. Then we will spend the summer again in Canada working with churches in Ontario.

We’re excited about an opportunity to preach in Brandon, England, for four weeks in August. Following that we hope to travel to Scotland and Ireland. Of course, all of these plans are tempered with the caveat, “if the Lord wills” (Jas. 4:13-15).

I’m grateful on this birthday to celebrate it with my wonderful wife, Norma Jean, who’s been my faithful partner on this journey for the past 51+ years. As we both focus on the future, we want to keep our eyes on the eternal goal. And to go hand in hand to a land where we will never grow old.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





All sins have to be washed in the blood of Jesus in order to be forgiven.

Revelation 1:5 and Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.

The question is what are the terms men have to meet in order to have the blood applied? At what point do men contact the blood of Jesus Christ?

When did Jesus wash Saul (the apostle Paul) in His blood?

Saul Believed in Jesus on the road to Damascus and ask Him "What shall I do Lord?" (Acts 22:6-10) Did Jesus wash Saul's sins away with His blood at that moment in time? No, Saul was still not forgiven. Saul was not forgiven the minute he believed.

Saul was in Damascus three days later at the house of Ananias. Ananias layed hands on Saul so he could receive his sight. (Acts 22:13) Did Jesus wash away Saul's sins by His blood at that time? No, Saul was still in his sins.

What was the contact point for the blood of Jesus Christ?

Acts 22:16 ' And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

1. Jesus did not wash away the sins of Saul, with His own blood, the minute Saul believed while on the road to Damascus.
2. Jesus did not wash away the sins of Saul, with His own blood, the minute Saul repented while on the road to Damascus.
3. Jesus did not wash away the sins of Saul, with His own blood, because Saul prayed for three days while on the road to Damascus.
4. Jesus did not wash away the sins of Saul, with His own blood, until Saul arrived in Damascus three days later, when Saul was baptized in water.  


The terms for forgiveness. 1. Faith, John 3:16. 2. Repentance, Acts 2:38 3. Confession, Romans 10:9-10 and 4. The point of contacting the blood of Christ---WATER BAPTISM Acts 22:16   

The Word "Baptism" by Sandra F. Cobble



The Word "Baptism"

Remember when "ain't" was "avoided in standard speech"? Check an up-to- date Webster's dictionary. It is now "used orally in most parts of the U.S. by many educated speakers." And this brings us to an important aspect of word study - RESOURCES. Generally we tend to think of a dictionary or lexicon as "being the final authority" in regard to word meaning or usage. And it is AT THAT GIVEN TIME. But a dictionary does not govern language. Language develops, and a dictionary records that development. As a language changes, so does a dictionary. Thus, to understand what an ancient writer meant, we must consult a dictionary or lexicon that records how HIS language was used IN HIS TIME. To know what Biblical writers meant we must consult a lexicon of biblical words -- NOT a modern dictionary of the English language!

Most scholars, whether religious or secular, agree that "baptism" originates from the Greek "baptizo," which originates from "bapto." They also agree that "bapto" means "dip." "Baptizo" was a familiar word to the Greeks, being found in the classical writings, history, and geography. In Aesop's fables a man dipped (baptizo) tow in oil, bound it to the tail of a fox, and set fire to it. Diodorus, a historian who wrote about 60-30 B.C., writes, "Most of the wild land animals are surrounded by the stream and perish, being submerged (baptized)." Josephus, the noted Biblical historian born A.D. 37, writes, "The ship being just about to be submerged (baptized)." From these writings we may determine that at the time of Christ "baptizo" meant "dip." We may also determine that any religious significance of "baptizo" must be determined from the context in which it is used rather than from the word itself.

Before discussing the significance of Christian baptism, let us look at the words of Martin Luther, a scholar who lived at a time when sprinkling was the accepted mode of "baptism." "The term 'baptism' is a Greek word; it may be rendered into Latin by 'mersia' -- when we immerse any thing in water, that it may be entirely covered with water. And though this custom be quite abolished among the generality (for neither do they entirely dip children, but only sprinkle them with a little water), nevertheless they ought to be wholly immersed, and immediately to be drawn out again, for the etymology of the word seems to require it." Having examined the origin and use of "baptizo" in general, let us now consider Christian baptism. What is its significance and how should it be performed?

Baptism is a burial in water to symbolize Christ's burial. As Christ arose, so we arise to a new life. Our old man of sin has died as we repented of and turned from sin, and then we were buried with Christ (Romans 6:3-8). Therefore, it is not baptism at all when water is sprinkled or poured on a person. This was a practice that started in the Roman Catholic church hundreds of years after Christ died, assumed to be a substitute for baptism for those who were sick or dying and was called "clinical baptism", which is not found in the New Testament. No "baptism" is approved of God unless it is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38), a burial (Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12), and by the authority of Jesus rather than simply by the authority of some man or church (Matthew 28:18-20).

"Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12 NKJV).

Sandra F. Cobble

Published in The Old Paths Archive



Bible Reading for May 31 and June 1 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for May 31 and June 1

World  English  Bible



May 31

Judges 19, 20

Jdg 19:1 It happened in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehem Judah.

Jdg 19:2 His concubine played the prostitute against him, and went away from him to her father's house to Bethlehem Judah, and was there the space of four months.

Jdg 19:3 Her husband arose, and went after her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of donkeys: and she brought him into her father's house; and when the father of the young lady saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

Jdg 19:4 His father-in-law, the young lady's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they ate and drink, and lodged there.

Jdg 19:5 It happened on the fourth day, that they arose early in the morning, and he rose up to depart: and the young lady's father said to his son-in-law, Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward you shall go your way.

Jdg 19:6 So they sat down, ate, and drank, both of them together: and the young lady's father said to the man, Please be pleased to stay all night, and let your heart be merry.

Jdg 19:7 The man rose up to depart; but his father-in-law urged him, and he lodged there again.

Jdg 19:8 He arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the young lady's father said, Please strengthen your heart and stay until the day declines; and they ate, both of them.

Jdg 19:9 When the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the young lady's father, said to him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening, please stay all night: behold, the day grows to an end, lodge here, that your heart may be merry; and tomorrow get you early on your way, that you may go home.

Jdg 19:10 But the man wouldn't stay that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus (the same is Jerusalem): and there were with him a couple of donkeys saddled; his concubine also was with him.

Jdg 19:11 When they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, Please come and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.

Jdg 19:12 His master said to him, We won't turn aside into the city of a foreigner, that is not of the children of Israel; but we will pass over to Gibeah.

Jdg 19:13 He said to his servant, Come and let us draw near to one of these places; and we will lodge in Gibeah, or in Ramah.

Jdg 19:14 So they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down on them near to Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin.

Jdg 19:15 They turned aside there, to go in to lodge in Gibeah: and he went in, and sat him down in the street of the city; for there was no man who took them into his house to lodge.

Jdg 19:16 Behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even: now the man was of the hill country of Ephraim, and he sojourned in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites.

Jdg 19:17 He lifted up his eyes, and saw the wayfaring man in the street of the city; and the old man said, Where are you going? Where did you come from?

Jdg 19:18 He said to him, We are passing from Bethlehem Judah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim; from there am I, and I went to Bethlehem Judah: and I am now going to the house of Yahweh; and there is no man who takes me into his house.

Jdg 19:19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our donkeys; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your handmaid, and for the young man who is with your servants: there is no want of anything.

Jdg 19:20 The old man said, Peace be to you; howsoever let all your wants lie on me; only don't lodge in the street.

Jdg 19:21 So he brought him into his house, and gave the donkeys fodder; and they washed their feet, and ate and drink.

Jdg 19:22 As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain base fellows, surrounded the house, beating at the door; and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man who came into your house, that we may know him.

Jdg 19:23 The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, No, my brothers, please don't act so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into my house, don't do this folly.

Jdg 19:24 Behold, here is my daughter a virgin, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble them, and do with them what seems good to you: but to this man don't do any such folly.

Jdg 19:25 But the men wouldn't listen to him: so the man laid hold on his concubine, and brought her forth to them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

Jdg 19:26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, until it was light.

Jdg 19:27 Her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold.

Jdg 19:28 He said to her, Up, and let us be going; but none answered: then he took her up on the donkey; and the man rose up, and got him to his place.

Jdg 19:29 When he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the borders of Israel.

Jdg 19:30 It was so, that all who saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day: consider it, take counsel, and speak.

Jdg 20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was assembled as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, to Yahweh at Mizpah.

Jdg 20:2 The chiefs of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen who drew sword.

Jdg 20:3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) The children of Israel said, Tell us, how was this wickedness brought to pass?

Jdg 20:4 The Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered, I came into Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.

Jdg 20:5 The men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house by night. They thought to have slain me, and they forced my concubine, and she is dead.

Jdg 20:6 I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel; for they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel.

Jdg 20:7 Behold, you children of Israel, all of you, give here your advice and counsel.

Jdg 20:8 All the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn to his house.

Jdg 20:9 But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot;

Jdg 20:10 and we will take ten men of one hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and one hundred of one thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to get food for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have worked in Israel.

Jdg 20:11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.

Jdg 20:12 The tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is happen among you?

Jdg 20:13 Now therefore deliver up the men, the base fellows, who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers the children of Israel.

Jdg 20:14 The children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel.

Jdg 20:15 The children of Benjamin were numbered on that day out of the cities twenty-six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men.

Jdg 20:16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed; everyone could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss.

Jdg 20:17 The men of Israel, besides Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men who drew sword: all these were men of war.

Jdg 20:18 The children of Israel arose, and went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin? Yahweh said, Judah shall go up first.

Jdg 20:19 The children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.

Jdg 20:20 The men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel set the battle in array against them at Gibeah.

Jdg 20:21 The children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites on that day Twenty-two thousand men.

Jdg 20:22 The people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and set the battle again in array in the place where they set themselves in array the first day.

Jdg 20:23 The children of Israel went up and wept before Yahweh until even; and they asked of Yahweh, saying, Shall I again draw near to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? Yahweh said, Go up against him.

Jdg 20:24 The children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.

Jdg 20:25 Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.

Jdg 20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came to Bethel, and wept, and sat there before Yahweh, and fasted that day until even; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh.

Jdg 20:27 The children of Israel asked of Yahweh (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,

Jdg 20:28 and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? Yahweh said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver him into your hand.

Jdg 20:29 Israel set ambushes all around Gibeah.

Jdg 20:30 The children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and set themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.

Jdg 20:31 The children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to strike and kill of the people, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goes up to Bethel, and the other to Gibeah, in the field, about thirty men of Israel.

Jdg 20:32 The children of Benjamin said, They are struck down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them away from the city to the highways.

Jdg 20:33 All the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and set themselves in array at Baal Tamar: and the ambushers of Israel broke forth out of their place, even out of Maareh Geba.

Jdg 20:34 There came over against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was sore; but they didn't know that evil was close on them.

Jdg 20:35 Yahweh struck Benjamin before Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of Benjamin that day twenty-five thousand one hundred men: all these drew the sword.

Jdg 20:36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were struck; for the men of Israel gave place to Benjamin, because they trusted the ambushers whom they had set against Gibeah.

Jdg 20:37 The ambushers hurried, and rushed on Gibeah; and the ambushers drew themselves along, and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.

Jdg 20:38 Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the ambushers was that they should make a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city.

Jdg 20:39 The men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons; for they said, Surely they are struck down before us, as in the first battle.

Jdg 20:40 But when the cloud began to arise up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them; and behold, the whole of the city went up in smoke to the sky.

Jdg 20:41 The men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were dismayed; for they saw that evil had come on them.

Jdg 20:42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in its midst.

Jdg 20:43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them, and trod them down at their resting place, as far as over against Gibeah toward the sunrise.

Jdg 20:44 There fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valor.

Jdg 20:45 They turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men, and followed hard after them to Gidom, and struck of them two thousand men.

Jdg 20:46 So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men who drew the sword; all these were men of valor.

Jdg 20:47 But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and abode in the rock of Rimmon four months.

Jdg 20:48 The men of Israel turned again on the children of Benjamin, and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city, and the livestock, and all that they found: moreover all the cities which they found they set on fire. 


June 1

Judges 21

Jdg 21:1 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter to Benjamin as wife.

Jdg 21:2 The people came to Bethel, and sat there until evening before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore.

Jdg 21:3 They said, Yahweh, the God of Israel, why has this happened in Israel, that there should be today one tribe lacking in Israel?

Jdg 21:4 It happened on the next day that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

Jdg 21:5 The children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who didn't come up in the assembly to Yahweh? For they had made a great oath concerning him who didn't come up to Yahweh to Mizpah, saying, He shall surely be put to death.

Jdg 21:6 The children of Israel grieved for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.

Jdg 21:7 How shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing we have sworn by Yahweh that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?

Jdg 21:8 They said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel who didn't come up to Yahweh to Mizpah? Behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh Gilead to the assembly.

Jdg 21:9 For when the people were numbered, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead there.

Jdg 21:10 The congregation sent there twelve thousand men of the most valiant, and commanded them, saying, Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones.

Jdg 21:11 This is the thing that you shall do: you shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman who has lain by man.

Jdg 21:12 They found among the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead four hundred young virgins, who had not known man by lying with him; and they brought them to the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

Jdg 21:13 The whole congregation sent and spoke to the children of Benjamin who were in the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them.

Jdg 21:14 Benjamin returned at that time; and they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh Gilead: and yet so they weren't enough for them.

Jdg 21:15 The people grieved for Benjamin, because that Yahweh had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.

Jdg 21:16 Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for those who remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?

Jdg 21:17 They said, There must be an inheritance for those who are escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe not be blotted out from Israel.

Jdg 21:18 However we may not give them wives of our daughters, for the children of Israel had sworn, saying, Cursed be he who gives a wife to Benjamin.

Jdg 21:19 They said, Behold, there is a feast of Yahweh from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.

Jdg 21:20 They commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards,

Jdg 21:21 and see, and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards, and each man catch his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

Jdg 21:22 It shall be, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we will say to them, Grant them graciously to us, because we didn't take for each man his wife in battle, neither did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.

Jdg 21:23 The children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of those who danced, whom they carried off: and they went and returned to their inheritance, and built the cities, and lived in them.

Jdg 21:24 The children of Israel departed there at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.

Jdg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

May  31

John 8

Joh 8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

Joh 8:2 Now very early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him. He sat down, and taught them.

Joh 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the midst,

Joh 8:4 they told him, "Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act.

Joh 8:5 Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such. What then do you say about her?"

Joh 8:6 They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of. But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger.

Joh 8:7 But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her."

Joh 8:8 Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.

Joh 8:9 They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle.

Joh 8:10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, "Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?"

Joh 8:11 She said, "No one, Lord." Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more."

Joh 8:12 Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."

Joh 8:13 The Pharisees therefore said to him, "You testify about yourself. Your testimony is not valid."

Joh 8:14 Jesus answered them, "Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from, and where I am going; but you don't know where I came from, or where I am going.

Joh 8:15 You judge according to the flesh. I judge no one.

Joh 8:16 Even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent me.

Joh 8:17 It's also written in your law that the testimony of two people is valid.

Joh 8:18 I am one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me."

Joh 8:19 They said therefore to him, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me, nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also."

Joh 8:20 Jesus spoke these words in the treasury, as he taught in the temple. Yet no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

Joh 8:21 Jesus said therefore again to them, "I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sins. Where I go, you can't come."

Joh 8:22 The Jews therefore said, "Will he kill himself, that he says, 'Where I am going, you can't come?' "

Joh 8:23 He said to them, "You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world.

Joh 8:24 I said therefore to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins."

Joh 8:25 They said therefore to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.

Joh 8:26 I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you. However he who sent me is true; and the things which I heard from him, these I say to the world."

Joh 8:27 They didn't understand that he spoke to them about the Father.

Joh 8:28 Jesus therefore said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things.

Joh 8:29 He who sent me is with me. The Father hasn't left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him."

Joh 8:30 As he spoke these things, many believed in him.

Joh 8:31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, "If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples.

Joh 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

Joh 8:33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How do you say, 'You will be made free?' "

Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin.

Joh 8:35 A bondservant doesn't live in the house forever. A son remains forever.

Joh 8:36 If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Joh 8:37 I know that you are Abraham's seed, yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you.

Joh 8:38 I say the things which I have seen with my Father; and you also do the things which you have seen with your father."

Joh 8:39 They answered him, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.

Joh 8:40 But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham didn't do this.

Joh 8:41 You do the works of your father." They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father, God."

Joh 8:42 Therefore Jesus said to them, "If God were your father, you would love me, for I came out and have come from God. For I haven't come of myself, but he sent me.

Joh 8:43 Why don't you understand my speech? Because you can't hear my word.

Joh 8:44 You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn't stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and its father.

Joh 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you don't believe me.

Joh 8:46 Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?

Joh 8:47 He who is of God hears the words of God. For this cause you don't hear, because you are not of God."

Joh 8:48 Then the Jews answered him, "Don't we say well that you are a Samaritan, and have a demon?"

Joh 8:49 Jesus answered, "I don't have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.

Joh 8:50 But I don't seek my own glory. There is one who seeks and judges.

Joh 8:51 Most certainly, I tell you, if a person keeps my word, he will never see death."

Joh 8:52 Then the Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and you say, 'If a man keeps my word, he will never taste of death.'

Joh 8:53 Are you greater than our father, Abraham, who died? The prophets died. Who do you make yourself out to be?"

Joh 8:54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is our God.

Joh 8:55 You have not known him, but I know him. If I said, 'I don't know him,' I would be like you, a liar. But I know him, and keep his word.

Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and was glad."

Joh 8:57 The Jews therefore said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"

Joh 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Most certainly, I tell you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM."

Joh 8:59 Therefore they took up stones to throw at him, but Jesus was hidden, and went out of the temple, having gone through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Jun. 1

John 9

Joh 9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.

Joh 9:2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, "Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him.

Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work.

Joh 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Joh 9:6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man's eyes with the mud,

Joh 9:7 and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means "Sent"). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing.

Joh 9:8 The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, "Isn't this he who sat and begged?"

Joh 9:9 Others were saying, "It is he." Still others were saying, "He looks like him." He said, "I am he."

Joh 9:10 They therefore were asking him, "How were your eyes opened?"

Joh 9:11 He answered, "A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.' So I went away and washed, and I received sight."

Joh 9:12 Then they asked him, "Where is he?" He said, "I don't know."

Joh 9:13 They brought him who had been blind to the Pharisees.

Joh 9:14 It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.

Joh 9:15 Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see."

Joh 9:16 Some therefore of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he doesn't keep the Sabbath." Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was division among them.

Joh 9:17 Therefore they asked the blind man again, "What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."

Joh 9:18 The Jews therefore did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight,

Joh 9:19 and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?"

Joh 9:20 His parents answered them, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;

Joh 9:21 but how he now sees, we don't know; or who opened his eyes, we don't know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself."

Joh 9:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.

Joh 9:23 Therefore his parents said, "He is of age. Ask him."

Joh 9:24 So they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, "Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner."

Joh 9:25 He therefore answered, "I don't know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see."

Joh 9:26 They said to him again, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"

Joh 9:27 He answered them, "I told you already, and you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don't also want to become his disciples, do you?"

Joh 9:28 They insulted him and said, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.

Joh 9:29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don't know where he comes from."

Joh 9:30 The man answered them, "How amazing! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.

Joh 9:31 We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he listens to him.

Joh 9:32 Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind.

Joh 9:33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

Joh 9:34 They answered him, "You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?" They threw him out.

Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"

Joh 9:36 He answered, "Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?"

Joh 9:37 Jesus said to him, "You have both seen him, and it is he who speaks with you."

Joh 9:38 He said, "Lord, I believe!" and he worshiped him.

Joh 9:39 Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, that those who don't see may see; and that those who see may become blind."

Joh 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?"

Joh 9:41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains.