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Chapter 2: The Bahá’í Faith

New World Library ePub

“Know thou of a certainty that Love is the secret of God’s holy Dispensation, the manifestation of the All-Merciful, the fountain of spiritual outpourings. Love is heaven’s kindly light, the Holy Spirit’s eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul. Love is the cause of God’s revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things. Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next. Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul ....

“Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the diverse elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms. Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe. Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization in this mortal world, and the shedder of imperishable glory upon every high-aiming race and nation.”

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Medium 9780253014696

6. Messianism and Ethics

Michael L Morgan Indiana University Press ePub

Matt Goldish

Gershom Scholem’s argument that Jewish messianic movements are linked to antinomianism has gained widespread acceptance among scholars. A related question is whether Jewish messianism enforces ethics, threatens ethics, or has no relationship to ethics. I will attempt in this chapter to offer a working definition of ethics for the current discussion, then to argue that messianism sometimes threatens ethics or attempts to propose a new ethical system. For many people, the idea of an unethical Messiah or messianic movement might seem paradoxical or even farcical because the messianic age is described in the Bible as a time of ultimate justice and truth (e.g., Isaiah 11). Yet ethical breaches (by our standards) have indeed been a common part of Jewish messianism. Perhaps this is human nature, since the role of a Messiah is also a position of power. The ethical issues involved in messianic movements concern both the views and actions of the proposed messianic prophet or Messiah and the views and actions of his followers. The main factor at work here is a certainty on the part of all these actors that God reveals truths to the Messiah or messianic prophet that can transcend his society’s accepted ethics. This, in turn, is an extension of ethical issues in the Bible. I will thus treat the biblical questions briefly, then show how they reach forward in history through messianic movements and thought.1 I shall treat the two largest Jewish messianic movements to illustrate the point: that of Jesus of Nazareth and that of Sabbatai Zevi.

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Medium 9780890517888

25. What about the Hebrew Language and Genesis?

Ken Ham Master Books ePub

Chapter 25

What about the Hebrew Language and Genesis?

Dr. Benjamin Shaw


A number of years ago, I heard a noted New Testament scholar relate a story about teaching a Sunday school class. As would be expected, he was using an English translation. At one point, one of the students in the class asked, What does it say in the Greek? The teachers response was, The same thing it says in the English. His point was not that there is no difference between Greek and English; only that in that passage the English gave an accurate and adequate presentation of the Greek.

It is the same in the Old Testament with Hebrew. Often, the Hebrew text says just what it does in English. That is not to say that there are not differences between Hebrew and English. There are, and frequently those differences pose difficulties for the translator. But in many places that is not the case. That is the reason that if you take a number of the more literal English translations (such as the KJV, NASB, NKJV, and ESV) and compare them verse-by-verse you will often see very little difference among them.

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Medium 9780253008022

1. Be the Jew You Make: Jews, Jewishness, and Judaism in Postethnic America

Shaul Magid Indiana University Press ePub

Have ethnicities, the influx of which has formed the population of the great modern republic of North America, kept their particularities? No.

—Bruno Bauer, “La question juive”

What will become of the Jewish people?

—A. B. Yehoshua, lecture to the American Jewish Committee, 2006

The trajectory of the twentieth century has taken America from a theory of the melting pot focused on the erasure of distinct immigrant identities to a resurgence of cultural specificity in Horace Kallen's cultural pluralism, multiculturalism, and identity politics. Jews have been active participants in all of these cultural shifts, both as Americans and as Jews.1

The postwar reiteration of Horace Kallen's cultural pluralism in works such as John F. Kennedy's Nation of Immigrants (1958), Nathan Glazer and Daniel Moynihan's Beyond the Melting Pot (1963), Michael Novak's The Unmeltable Ethnics (1971), Irving Howe's World of Our Fathers (1976), and Alex Haley's Roots (1976) eventually produced a multiculturalism that enabled Jews (and other ethnic groups) to rediscover the religion and cultural distinctiveness of their grandparents that was largely hidden from view in the decades of assimilation.2 Yet even as American Jews in the 1960s and 1970s became reacquainted with their tradition, or at least less afraid of expressing their Jewish identity, they largely remained secular and continued the forward motion of acculturation and assimilation. This tension is aptly expressed by Bernie Steinberg, the Jewish character in the early 1970s sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie, when he says to his family, “I don't believe this. I've lived with you people all my life. Now why is everyone all of a sudden being so Jewish?”3 Intermarriage rates among American Jews continued to rise, and Jews' full participation in secular American life continued to thrive unabated.

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Medium 9781442279346


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


James W. Haring


Modernity typically casts critical biblical scholarship and “pre-critical” biblical exegesis as antagonists. These stock characters have begun to disintegrate, and here I offer an example that rescripts them as unwitting partners. Both, in fact, have a substantial commonality: they confront modern readers with something foreign. If early Christian biblical interpretation is foreign to modern sensibilities in its use of allegory and its detection of spiritual meanings, modern biblical scholarship often brings into relief just how foreign the Scriptures are when understood on their own terms and in their own context. Thus, it is ironic, but perhaps unsurprising, to find that when biblical scholars uncover the strangeness of the (often implicit) worldview of the authors of the Hebrew Bible, it sometimes cancels out the strangeness of early biblical interpreters. What emerges is that the strangeness of these early interpretations was sometimes linked not to a failure to read the biblical texts perceptively, but to the cultural and intellectual proximity of early interpreters to the very strangeness of the biblical texts themselves.

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Medium 9780971435223

The Demon Tamer

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF
You all know what it’s like to have a critical voice in your head? Some person or thought or emotion that has taken up residence in your head and tends to be a bit on the obnoxious side?”

Everyone raises a hand and nods with grim familiarity.“Well, those are demons. Demon is a useful way to describe anything in our heads that we don’t want there and which seems to have a mind of its own; something that haunts us or has power over us, has its hooks into us; memories, people, addictions. They torment us in a variety of ways, but the main thing demons do is hold us back, restrict our progress.“

This is Brett’s final lesson for you, by the way........... See All Chapters
Medium 9780253342935

11 Treblinka: July 23 to August 28, 1942

Yitzhak Arad Indiana University Press ePub

The trains with deportees destined for the death camp at Treblinka stopped at the Treblinka village station, some 4 km from the camp. The train, which was usually composed of close to sixty freight cars, was then divided into three sections, and each section was driven separately into the camp. Like in Belzec and Sobibor, from that point the train was driven by two German railway workers. In Treblinka they were Rudolf Emmerich and Wili Klinzman. The arrival of the first deportation transport from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka station was described by a Pole, Franciszek Zabecki:

The first transport of “deportees” left Malkinia on July 23, 1942, in the morning hours. The train announced its approach not merely with a shriek of wheels as it crossed the Bug bridge, but with a volley of rifle and machine-gun fire from the security guards. The train entered the station. It was loaded with Jews from the Warsaw ghetto. . . . Four SS men from the new camp were waiting. They had arrived earlier by car and asked us how far from Treblinka the “special train with deportees” was. They had already received word of the train’s departure from Warsaw. . . . A smaller engine was already at the station, waiting to bring a section of the freight cars into the camp. Everything was planned and prepared in advance. The train was made up of sixty closed cars, crowded with people. These included the young and elderly, men and women, children and babies. The car doors were locked from the outside and the air apertures barred with barbed wire. On the car steps on both sides of the car and on the roof, a dozen or so SS soldiers stood or lay with machine guns at the ready. It was hot, and most of the people in the freight cars were in a faint. . . . As the train approached, an evil spirit seemed to take hold of the SS men who were waiting. They drew their pistols, returned them to their holsters, and whipped them out again, as if they wanted to shoot and kill. They came near the freight cars and tried to calm the noise and weeping; then they started yelling and cursing the Jews, all the while calling to the train workers, “Tempo, fast!” Then they returned to the camp to receive the deportees.1

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Medium 9780253010759

10 Mordecai the Pious: Kaplan and Heschel

Mel Scult Indiana University Press ePub


The only way in which man is actually delivered from the sinister use of high principles is through the grace of God. Of that grace he is the beneficiary so long as he experiences humility or piety, an experience which means awareness of a transcendent power in the cosmos—a universal consciousness or spirit—that seeks to direct humanity into the path of salvation.

—Mordecai M. Kaplan, October 1943

The relationship between Kaplan and Abraham Joshua Heschel—like all of Kaplan’s relationships—is complex and multilayered, both personally and philosophically.1 Philosophically, there are areas of agreement as well as contention. It will be extremely fruitful to explore the ideologies of these two men, as well as their personal relationship, in greater depth. The dramatic arc of their relationship—from curious correspondents to hopeful colleagues to jealous rivals—tells us a great deal, not only about them as individuals but also about the difficulty of bringing the rational and the mystical into some kind of unity.

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Medium 9781442229235

Salvation and the Certitude of Faith: Luther on Assurance

Pro Ecclesia Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Salvation and the Certitude of Faith: Luther on Assurance

Sven Grosse

The “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church from 1997 includes a position, presented as an essential teaching, on the subject of certitude (assurance of salvation). The following is found under Point 4.6:

(34) We confess together that the faithful can rely on the mercy and promises of God. In spite of their own weakness and the manifold threats to their faith, on the strength of Christ’s death and resurrection they can build on the effective promise of God’s grace in Word and Sacrament and so be sure of this grace. (35) This was emphasized in a particular way by the Reformers: in the midst of temptation, believers should not look to themselves but look solely to Christ and trust only him. In trust in God’s promise they are assured of their salvation, but are never secure looking at themselves. (36) Catholics can share the concern of the Reformers to ground faith in the objective reality of Christ’s promise, to look away from one’s own experience, and to trust in Christ’s forgiving word alone (cf. Mt 16:19; 18:18). With the Second Vatican Council, Catholics state: to have faith is to entrust oneself totally to God, who liberates us from the darkness of sin and death and awakens us to eternal life. In this sense, one cannot believe in God and at the same time consider the divine promise untrustworthy. No one may doubt God’s mercy and Christ’s merit. Every person, however, may be concerned about his salvation when he looks upon his own weaknesses and shortcomings. Recognizing his own failures, however, the believer may yet be certain that God intends his salvation.1

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Medium 9780890515792

23. Did the Continents Split Apart in the Days of Peleg?

Ken Ham Master Books ePub


Did the Continents Split Apart in the Days of Peleg?

Dr. Andrew A. Snelling and Bodie Hodge

In Genesis chapter 10, two-thirds of the way through the genealogies of the post-Flood patriarchs, we read in verse 25:

To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

The same phrase, "for in his days the earth was divided," also appears in the repetition of this genealogical entry in 1 Chronicles 1:19.

Many find these genealogical lists very boring to read. So they skip over the details and often miss this phrase. However, there are some Christians who get excited about this phrase, and latch on to it, suggesting that maybe this is where continental drift, which secular scientists have proposed, fits into the Bible!

It seems odd that this little "nugget" should appear in this genealogy of Noah’s three sons and their descendants after the Flood. But, does this phrase, "for in his days the earth was divided," suggest that continents drifted apart in the days of Peleg as a result of God dividing and separating the continents?

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Medium 9781577311218

Chapter 19: Zoroastrianism

New World Library ePub

Dr. Pallan R. Ichaporia

Chair of the Research and Preservation Committee of the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America

“In humble adoration, with hands outstretched, I pray to thee, O Lord, Invisible benevolent Spirit: Vouchsafe to me in this hour of joy, all righteousness of action, all wisdom of the Good Mind, that I may thereby bring joy to the Soul of Creation.”

Zoroastrianism is the first revealed monotheistic religion of the world. The date of its founding is lost in antiquity, but general consensus places it between 2000 to 1800 B.C.E. Its founder, Zarathushtra or Zoroaster (as called by the Greeks), flourished on the East Iranian plateau. Zarathushtra saw the God (Ahura Mazda—the Wise Lord), felt conscious of His presence, and heard His words, which are recorded in the five Songs or Poems he composed. These are called the Gathas. One easily understands Zarathushtra by seeing the Prophet’s zeal in the Gathas and the visible manifestation of his meeting the God.

Primary Beliefs

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Medium 9780253008039

1 “The Singing of the Mississippi”: The River and Religions of the Black Atlantic

Michael Pasquier Indiana University Press ePub


Jon F. Sensbach


In the summer of 1790 a barge carrying a group of enslaved Africans laboriously made its way up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, negotiating three hundred miles of bends before docking at the busy waterfront in Natchez. The captives were led off the barge, put up on the auction block for sale, and dispersed among farms and plantations in the region. Like the great majority of African slaves in early America, most left little trace in the historical record beyond, perhaps, a name in a plantation ledger. But through good fortune and persistence, one man had a remarkable chance to tell his story. His name was Ibrahima Abd-al Rahman, a Muslim from the West African kingdom of Futa Jallon, and he recounted a narrative of captivity, survival, and religious perseverance thousands of miles from home on the banks of the Mississippi.

His father was a king of the Fulbe people, in a predominantly Muslim region of what is now Guinea, where Arab traders had introduced Islam in the twelfth century. Educated in classical Muslim tradition, Abd-al Rahman learned to write Arabic and to study Qur’anic texts before being sent to the great Muslim university at Timbuktu. This life of learning was shattered by the slaving wars that ravaged West Africa to feed the insatiable Atlantic slave trade. Deeply enmeshed in these wars, Futa Jallon profited from raiding non-Muslim territories and selling captives to European traders. In 1788, in a campaign against a coastal opponent that had blocked Futa Jallon’s access to the slave trade, twenty-six-year-old Abd-al Rahman was taken prisoner. His captors, he recounted many years later, “made me go barefoot one hundred miles . . . to the Mandingo country, on the Gambia. They sold me directly, with fifty others, to an English ship. They took me to the Island of Dominica. After that I was taken to New Orleans. Then they took me to Natchez.” There he was bought by Thomas Foster, a cotton and tobacco planter on whose nearby plantation the Muslim exile worked as a field hand and then foreman.1

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Medium 9780253011510

7 Life and Death in Reichskommissariat Ukraine

Jeffrey Veidlinger Indiana University Press ePub

On June 22, 1941, as the first light of the second longest day of the year appeared in the east, over three million German troops stormed across the Soviet border along a line that stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south. Having ignored the German troops amassing on the border, the Red Army was taken largely by surprise; despite the paranoia that had led Stalin to order the murder of many of his top generals on the eve of the war, the Soviet leader had displayed an unwavering trust toward, of all people, Adolf Hitler. All references to the barbarism of fascist Germany had been purged from public discourse after the conclusion of the Soviet–German Nonaggression Pact of 1939, by which the two states had divided Poland between themselves, with the Soviet Union adding significantly to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic through its annexation of what had been eastern Poland. This pact provided the green light for Germany to invade Poland on September 1st, occupying the country up to a line roughly following the rivers Narva, Vistula, and San. Seventeen days later, the Soviet Union easily secured its half of Poland. As a result of the 1939 pact between the two states, when Germany launched its invasion in 1941, neither the military nor the citizens of the Soviet Union had sufficient warning of the coming cataclysm.

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Medium 9781931018234

Appendix - Biblical Theology and Marian Studies

Leon J Jr Suprenant Emmaus Road Publishing ePub

In a beautiful and more extended look at typology in
Scripture, Scott Hahn shows us the necessity of theology that is based on
Scripture—biblical theology—and how Mariology gives us this biblical theology
by unifying exegesis, dogma, and the liturgy. Hahn systematically examines
three specific types from the Old Testament, explains how they are fulfilled in
the New Testament, and relates them to dogmas that are taught by the Church. He
concludes that understanding the Church’s teachings on Mary requires us to
embrace the typological reading of Scripture used by the Apostles, which is so
evident in the liturgy today.

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Medium 9780253015235

2 The Prophetic Claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Adil Hussain Khan Indiana University Press ePub

2  The Prophetic Claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s Primary and Secondary Claims

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s education and spiritual training shaped the way in which he understood and expressed his religious experiences. His spiritual claims were complex, with subtle nuances that developed over the course of his life, but the controversy surrounding his claims is in many ways what makes his mission most interesting. Any serious analysis of Ghulam Ahmad’s claims must account for changes in interpretation that have taken place over time. The expansion of these claims did not come to an end with Ghulam Ahmad’s death, but rather continued through successive generations of Ahmadi interpreters who framed and articulated these claims differently. The ambiguous and sometimes paradoxical nature of Ghulam Ahmad’s Sufi-style metaphysics has led to divergent opinions about him. His views on theological issues are often presented analytically, whereas in actuality they are difficult to assess. The controversial aspects of Ahmadi Islam are less a result of Ghulam Ahmad’s primary spiritual claims and more a result of consequential inferences from—or secondary implications of—what his primary claims seem to entail. The best example of this is the case of Ghulam Ahmad’s prophethood itself, which was, surprisingly, not one of his primary spiritual claims. Similarly, Ghulam Ahmad’s rejection of violent jihad and his insistence upon Jesus’s survival of crucifixion were consequences of his claim to be the promised messiah. To better understand Ghulam Ahmad’s mission and appreciate how he became a prophet of God, one must evaluate the religious background of his primary spiritual claims alongside what they entail.

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