Saturday, December 14, 2013

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Extra-Biblical Evidence About Jesus

          How many times, throughout history, have the historians been eyewitnesses to the events they wrote about?  Many times the writers are not present at the events, but rather depend on the best sources available to gather their information.  The author must gather all of the creditable information he can, and correlate that information to give an educated compilation.  The Bible contains first hand, eyewitness accounts of Jesus' life, death and resurrection; however, there are those who require additional information from sources not directly associated with the Bible. 


          "Too many people think that in order for the New Testament to have any validity it needs to be confirmed by writings outside the New Testament.  This is because people still think that the New Testament is a single book, and to use the New Testament to validate the New Testament is arguing in a circle. This is simply not true. The New Testament isn’t a single book. It is a collection of independently written documents written by people living during the first century.  The documents that were considered the most reliable, for reasons including but not limited to their early date, were kept and read in the church.  Eventually the church collected these documents and put them under one cover, calling it the “New Testament.” So when people demand to have evidence for Jesus outside the Bible, they are demanding that the earliest, most reliable sources be discarded in favor of later, less reliable sources.  Such a methodology would be considered crazy if we were investigating the life of any other historical figure. Nevertheless, when Christians are pressed to find extra-Biblical evidence for Jesus, they are very quick to throw out the Bible on request in favor of the writings of Josephus or Tacitus. This should not be so. When someone asks to see evidence of Jesus outside the New Testament, the question that needs to be asked is, “Why?  What’s wrong with the New Testament? Do you have a bias against the New Testament? If so, how do you justify this bias?”" (

Flavius Josephus (37-97 AD), court historian for Emperor Vespasian: "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders." (Arabic translation)

F. F. Bruce has provided a more likely translation:

Now there arose at this time a source of further trouble in one Jesus, a wise man who performed surprising works, a teacher of men who gladly welcome strange things. He led away many Jews, and also many of the Gentiles. He was the so-called Christ. When Pilate, acting on information supplied by the chief men around us, condemned him to the cross, those who had attached themselves to him at first did not cease to cause trouble, and the tribe of Christians, which has taken this name from him is not extinct even today. (Book 18, Ch. 3, part 3) he assembled the Sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned...  (Book 20, Ch. 9, part 1)

 (F. F. Bruce translation)


 Antiquities of the Jews’ which Josephus wrote in 93AD  About this time came Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is appropriate to call him a man. For he was a performer of paradoxical feats, a teacher of people who accept the unusual with pleasure, and he won over many of the Jews and also many Greeks. He was the Christ. When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned him to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease [to follow him], for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvelous things concerning him. And the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this dayJosephus’ statement about Jesus is the most direct, non-Biblical, non-Christian source we have for Jesus and it shouldn’t be dismissed simply because some Christians interpolated it. Besides, this is not the only time Josephus mentions Jesus in his writing. In Book 20, Chapter 9 he makes an off the cuff comment about “…the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James.” He also said a lot about Jesus’ cousin, “John, that was called the Baptist.”.  But wait there's more! In addition to mentioning Jesus and John the Baptist, Josephus also narrates the death of Herod Agrippa in a lot more detail than Luke does in Acts 12:19-23. (Wikipedia)


Tacitus (circa A.D. 55 - A.D. 117)  Annals, book XV:

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus (Christ), from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.


Ignatius according to tradition was a pupil of the Apostle John. He is said to be the second bishop of Antioch after Peter and he lived between 50-115 A.D. Ignatius also died a martyr for his faith and belief in the resurrection. (This can be verified in "Fox's book of martyrs", pg.7-8. "Evidence", by Josh McDowell pg.185, "American Peoples Encyclopedia", Vol.10,pg.895)

The following is a quote by Ignatius, which is found  in Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume. I, Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James, The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians Ch. 9. "Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly begotten of God and of the Virgin, but not after the same manner. For indeed God and man are not the same. He truly assumed a body; for "the Word was made flesh," and lived upon earth without sin. For says He, "Which of you convicted me of sin? " He did in reality both eat and drink. He was crucified and died under Pontius Pilate. He really, and not merely in appearance, was crucified, and died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. By those in heaven I mean such as are possessed of incorporeal natures; by those on earth, the Jews and Romans, and such persons as were present at that time when the Lord was crucified; and by those under the earth, the multitude that arose along with the Lord. For says the Scripture, "Many bodies of the saints that slept arose," their graves being opened. He descended, indeed, into Hades alone, but He arose accompanied by a multitude; and rent asunder that means of separation which had existed from the beginning of the world, and cast down its partition-wall. He also rose again in three days, the Father raising Him up; and after spending forty days with the apostles, He was received up to the Father, and "sat down at His right hand, expecting till His enemies are placed under His feet." On the day of the preparation, then, at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried. During the Sabbath He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathea had laid Him. At the dawning of the Lord's day He arose from the dead"

Polycarp is also said to have been a  disciple under Saint John. Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna and lived from 69-155 A.D. He also died a martyr for his faith. This can be verified in "Fox's book of martyrs", pg.9, Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia under Polycarp, American Peoples Encyclopedia Vol.15,pg.1011. The following is a quote from Polycarp found in Ante-Nicene Fathers: Volume I, Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James, The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians Chapter 2 "Wherefore, girding up your loins," "serve the Lord in fear" and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and "believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory," and a throne at His right hand." (


Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 AD), "the greatest historian" of ancient Rome: Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.


Suetonius (c. A.D. 69 - c. A.D. 140)  Lives of the Caesars - Claudius, sec. 25: He banished from Rome all the Jews, who were continually making disturbances at the instigation of one Chrestus.

Lives of the Caesars - Nero, sec. 16 Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.

The Jewish Talmud, compiled between 70 and 200 AD:

"On the eve of the Passover Yeshu (Jesus) was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover." "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged.  For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.  Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf."  But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!" (The Babylonian Talmud, translated by I. Epstein)

Another early reference in the Talmud speaks of five of Jesus' disciples and recounts their standing before judges who make individual decisions about each one, deciding that they should be executed. However, no actual deaths are recorded. The Talmud also refers, several times, to things in the New Testament (Everyman's Talmud, Cohen).

Mara Bar-Serapion, of Syria, writing between 70 and 200 AD from prison to motivate his son to emulate wise teachers of the past:

"What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burying Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given."

Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD), in a letter to Minucius Fundanus, the Asian proconsul:

"I do not wish, therefore, that the matter should be passed by without examination, so that these men may neither be harassed, nor opportunity of malicious proceedings be offered to informers. If, therefore, the provincials can clearly evince their charges against the Christians, so as to answer before the tribunal, let them pursue this course only, but not by mere petitions, and mere outcries against the Christians. For it is far more proper, if anyone would bring an accusation, that you should examine it." Hadrian further explained that if Christians were found guilty they should be judged "according to the heinousness of the crime." If the accusers were only slandering the believers, then those who inaccurately made the charges were to be punished.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas, chief secretary of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD): "Because the Jews of Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Claudius] expelled them from the city."

"After the great fire at Rome [during Nero's reign] ... Punishments were also inflicted on the Christians, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief."

Justin Martyr was a Christian writer who lived during 100-165 A.D. The following two quotes are his statements. "And
that it was predicted that our Christ should heal all diseases and raise the dead, hear what was said. There are these words:
"At His coming the lame shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the stammerer shall be clear speaking: the blind shall see, and
the lepers shall be cleansed; and the dead shall rise, and walk about." And that He did those things, you can learn from the
Acts of Pontius Pilate."

"Jesus Christ stretched forth His hands, being crucified by the Jews speaking against Him, and denying that He was the Christ.
And as the prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat, and said, Judge us. And the expression,
"They pierced my hands and my feet," was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet.
And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these
things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate."
Tthese quotes can be found in Ante-Nicene Fathers: Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James, Volume I, The First Apology
of Justin Chapter XLVIII & XXXV)

Justin here was appealing to "the Acts of Pontius Pilate" to his readers. Justin apparently believed the critics could verify these
things as actual events in this document. We can also see that Justin assumed his readers would know of the document he
was referring to. It should be noted here that there is no known manuscript found, which contains the Acts of Pontius Pilate.
Also this should not be confused with later fabrications by the same name. It is not known who wrote this document that Justin
refers to. Gary Habermas in his book "The Historical Jesus", pg.215-217  states that both Justin Martyr and Tertullian agree
that this was an official document of Rome.

Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor around 112 AD:

"[The Christians] were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind." Pliny added that Christianity attracted persons of all societal ranks, all ages, both sexes, and from both the city and the country. Late in his letter to Emperor Trajan, Pliny refers to the teachings of Jesus and his followers as excessive and contagious superstition.

Emperor Trajan, in reply to Pliny:

"The method you have pursued, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those denounced to you as Christians is extremely proper. It is not possible to lay down any general rule which can be applied as the fixed standard in all cases of this nature. No search should be made for these people; when they are denounced and found guilty they must be punished; with the restriction, however, that when the party denies himself to be a Christian, and shall give proof that he is not (that is, by adoring our gods) he shall be pardoned on the ground of repentance, even though he may have formerly incurred suspicion. Information's without the accuser's name subscribed must not be admitted in evidence against anyone, as it is introducing a very dangerous precedent, and by no means agreeable to the spirit of the age."

Lucian, a second century Greek satirist AD 125 – after AD 180 :  

Though Lucian opposed Christianity, he acknowledges Jesus, that Jesus was crucified, that Christians worship him, and that this was done by faith.

"The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. ... You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property." Lucian also reported that the Christians had "sacred writings" which were frequently read. When something affected them, "they spare no trouble, no expense."

Julius Africanus, writing around 221 AD, found a reference in the writings of Thallus, who wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean around 52 AD, which dealt with the darkness that covered the land during Jesus' crucifixion:

"Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun--unreasonably, as it seems to me." [A solar eclipse could not take place during a full moon, as was the case during Passover season  refers to writings by Thallus and Phlegon concerning the darkness during the Crucifixion: On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun...Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth - manifestly that one of which we speak.


The Gospel of Truth, probably by Valentius, around 135-160 AD:

"For when they had seen him and had heard him, he granted them to taste him and to smell him and to touch the beloved Son. When he had appeared instructing them about the Father. ... For he came by means of fleshly appearance." Other passages affirm that the Son of God came in the flesh and "the Word came into the midst. ... it became a body."

"Jesus, was patient in accepting sufferings. . . since he knows that his death is life for many. . . . he was nailed to a tree; he published the edict of the Father on the cross. ... He draws himself down to death through life. ... eternal clothes him. Having stripped himself of the perishable rags, he put on imperishability, which no one can possibly take away from him."


The Aprocryphon of John, probably by Saturninus, around 120-130 AD:

"It happened one day when John, the brother of James,--who are the sons of Zebedee--went up and came to the temple, that a Pharisee named Arimanius approached him and said to him, `Where is your master whom you followed?' And he said to him, 'He has gone to the place from which he came.' The Pharisee said to him, 'This Nazarene deceived you with deception and filled your ears with lies and closed your hearts and turned you from the traditions of your fathers.'"

The Gospel of Thomas, probably from 140-200 AD:

Contain many references to and alleged quotations of Jesus.


The Treatise On Resurrection, by uncertain author of the late second century, to Rheginos:

"The Lord ... existed in flesh and ... revealed himself as Son of God ... Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the Pleroma might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of the Truth, before this structure of the cosmos had come into being."  "For we have known the Son of Man, and we have believed that he rose from among the dead. This is he of whom we say, 'He became the destruction of death, as he is a great one in whom they believe.' Great are those who believe."  "The Savior swallowed up death. ... He transformed himself into an imperishable Aeon and raised himself up, having swallowed the visible by the invisible, and he gave us the way of our immortality."  "Do not think the resurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion, but it is truth. Indeed, it is more fitting to say that the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection which has come into being through our Lord the Savior, Jesus Christ."  ". . . already you have the resurrection ... why not consider yourself as risen and already brought to this?" Rheginos was thus encouraged not to "continue as if you are to die."


Acts of Pontius Pilate, reports sent from Pilate to Tiberius, referred to by Justin Martyr (150 AD):

"And the expression, 'They pierced my hands and my feet,' was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after he was crucified, they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen you can ascertain the 'Acts' of Pontius Pilate." Later Justin lists several healing miracles and asserts, "And that He did those things, you can learn from the Acts of Pontius Pilate."

Phlegon, born about 80 AD, as reported by Origen (185-254 AD), mentioned that Jesus made certain predictions which had been fulfilled.



Clement, elder of Rome, letter to the Corinthian church (95 AD):

"The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order. Having therefore received a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come. So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their firstfruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons unto them that should believe."

Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, letter to the Trallians (110-115 AD):

"Jesus Christ who was of the race of David, who was the Son of Mary, who was truly born and ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of those in heaven and on earth and those under the earth; who moreover was truly raised from the dead, His Father having raised Him, who in the like fashion will so raise us also who believe on Him."

Ignatius, letter to the Smyrneans (110-115 AD):

"He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, but Son of God by the Divine will and power, truly born of a virgin and baptized by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch (of which fruit are we--that is, of his most blessed passion); that He might set up an ensign unto all ages through His resurrection."

"For I know and believe that He was in the flesh even after the resurrection; and when He came to Peter and his company, He said to them, 'Lay hold and handle me, and see that I am not a demon without body.' And straightway they touched him, and they believed, being joined unto His flesh and His blood. Wherefore also they despised death, nay they were found superior to death. And after His resurrection He ate with them and drank with them."

Ignatius, letter to the Magnesians (110-115 AD):

"Be ye fully persuaded concerning the birth and the passion and the resurrection, which took place in the time of the governorship of Pontius Pilate; for these things were truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ our hope."

Quadratus, to Emperor Hadrian about 125 AD:

"The deeds of our Saviour were always before you, for they were true miracles; those that were healed, those that were raised from the dead, who were seen, not only when healed and when raised, but were always present. They remained living a long time, not only whilst our Lord was on earth, but likewise when He had left the earth. So that some of them have also lived to our own times."

Barnabas, written 130-138 AD:

"He must needs be manifested in the flesh. ... He preached teaching Israel and performing so many wonders and miracles, and He loved them exceedingly. ... He chose His own apostles who were to proclaim His Gospel. ... But He Himself desired so to suffer; for it was necessary for Him to suffer on a tree."

Justin Martyr, to Emperor Antoninus Pius about 150 AD:

After referring to Jesus' birth of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem, and that His physical line of descent came through the tribe of Judah and the family of Jesse, Justin wrote, "Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea."

"Accordingly, after He was crucified, even all His acquaintances forsook Him, having denied Him; and afterwards, when He had risen from the dead and appeared to them, and had taught them to read the prophecies in which all these things were foretold as coming to pass, and when they had seen Him ascending into heaven, and had believed, and had received power sent thence by Him upon them, and went to every race of men, they taught these things, and were called apostles."

Justin Martyr, in Dialogue with Trypho, around 150 AD:

"For at the time of His birth, Magi who came from Arabia worshipped Him, coming first to Herod, who then was sovereign in your land."

"For when they crucified Him, driving in the nails, they pierced His hands and feet; and those who crucified Him parted His garments among themselves, each casting lots for what he chose to have, and receiving according to the decision of the lot."

"Christ said amongst you that He would give the sign of Jonah, exhorting you to repent of your wicked deeds at least after He rose again from the dead ... yet you not only have not repented, after you learned that He rose from the dead, but, as I said before, you have sent chosen and ordained men throughout all the world to proclaim that 'a godless and lawless heresy had sprung from one Jesus, a Galilean deceiver, whom we crucified, but His disciples stole Him by night from the tomb, where He was laid when unfastened from the cross, and now deceive men by asserting that He has risen from the dead and ascended to heaven.'"

"For indeed the Lord remained upon the tree almost until evening, and they buried Him at eventide; then on the third day He rose again."

St. Melito of Sardes, Fragment in Anastasius of Sinai (C. 177 A.D.):

"The activities of Christ after His Baptism, and especially His miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the Deity hidden in His flesh. Being God and likewise perfect man, He gave positive indications of His two natures: of His Deity, by the miracles during the three years following after His Baptism; of His humanity, in the thirty years which came before His Baptism, during which, by reason of His condition according to the flesh, he concealed the signs of His Deity, although He was the true God existing before the ages."

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 3, 19, 1 (C. 180 AD):

"Nevertheless, what cannot be said of anyone else who ever lived, that He is Himself in His own right God and Lord and Eternal King and Only-begotten and Incarnate Word, proclaimed as such by all the Prophets and by the Apostles and by the Spirit Himself, may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth. The Scriptures would not have borne witness to these things concerning Him, if, like everyone else, He were mere man. But that He had in Himself what no other ever had, that pre-eminent generation by the Most High Father; and that He also experienced that pre-eminent birth from a Virgin, - the divine Scriptures testify to both in His regard." (


This inscription is fascinating on many levels, but what makes it the #2 biblical discovery in archaeology is the way one of the kings is described. The Aramaean king refers to the kingdom of Judah by its dynastic name, a name frequently used in the Hebrew Bible as well: the House of David. This not only indicates that the family of David still sat on the throne of Jerusalem, but this inscription represents the oldest textual reference to the historical King David ever discovered! (


The Pilot stone

In 1961 the archaeological world was taken back to the first century Roman province of Judea. A group of archaeologists, led by Dr. Antonio Frova were excavating an ancient Roman theater near Caesarea Maritima. Caesarea was a leading city in the first century located on the Mediterranean Sea. A limestone block was found there with a surprising inscription. The inscription, on three lines, reads:

…]S TIBERIVM PON]TIVS PILATVS PRAEF]ECTVS IVDA“Pontius[EA] “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.”

The dating of the inscription, in connection with its mention of Tiberius (42 BC-37AD) places the governor Pontius Pilate at the same place and time as the Bible’s information about Jesus. (


The Jesus Boat

The boat was found near the Sea of Galilee in 1985-86 when two brothers discovered something remarkable in the mud. The find was the first of its kind and dated back to between 120 B.C. and 40 A.D. There in the mud were the remnants of a fishing boat some 30 feet in length. A recent drought had the water level well below normal, allowing the boat to be seen by man for the first time in almost 2,000 years. (


"The historicity of Jesus concerns the analysis of historical evidence to determine if Jesus of Nazareth existed as a historical figure, and if any of the major milestones in his life as portrayed in the gospels can be confirmed as historical events, as opposed to the Christ myth theory, which holds that he is a fictional figure. The related study of the historical Jesus attempts to reconstruct portraits of his life and teachings, based on methods such as biblical criticism of gospel texts and the history of first century Judea.

Most modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus,[5] and the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate. Biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted. Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7 and 4 BC, in the closing stages of the reign of King Herod and died 30–36 AD, that he lived in Galilee and Judea, did not preach or study elsewhere, and that he spoke Aramaic and perhaps also Hebrew and maybe Greek.

Since the 18th century a number of quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, and historical critical methods for studying the historicity of Jesus have been developed. Various Christian and non-Christian sources are used to study and establish the historicity of Jesus, e.g. Jewish sources such as Josephus, and Roman sources such as Tacitus. These sources are compared and contrasted to Christian sources such as the Pauline Letters and the Synoptic Gospels. These sources are usually independent of each other (e.g. Jewish sources do not draw upon Roman sources), and similarities and differences between them are used in the authentication process."  (

Further non-Biblical evidence to show that Christians were recognized as those who worshipped Jesus is seen in some first century Pagan graffiti, which attempts to ridicule Christians by depicting a believer worshipping a horse type headed god on a cross:

The inscription reads: "Alexamenos worships his god."


          As is evident from the above, there is no doubt that Jesus both existed and fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies about Him.  There are over sixty prophecies, and over three hundred references, in the Old Testament which point to the coming Messiah and to His life and death.  Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled every one of them.  The odds of someone doing that, who was not the Messiah, make it impossible.  It was through the fulfillment of these prophecies that Israel was told she would be able to recognize the true Messiah when He came.  The four gospels record several times when Jesus said that He was fulfilling a prophecy of the Old Testament.

          I have only supplied a representative sample, of the extra-biblical history of Jesus, as the Word of God is still the best source of information about Him.  Multiple eye witness accounts of Jesus' life and times, as well as His miraculous healings, deliverances and teachings are given in the twenty seven books of the New Testament.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

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Mystery Babylon

        I know I'm going to get in trouble with a lot of my friends for writing this, because it is my belief there is a strong possibility, the United States of America is that end time country spoken of in the Bible as Mystery Babylon.

          We started out as a Christian nation under the unction of the Holy Spirit.  Most of our founders had a Christian world View, regardless of the extent of their participation in the Christian lifestyle.  This is abundantly evident in the writings of our founders, from the Puritans through the first three hundred years of our existence.  This is documented in my papers titled "Godly America" written 1-21-2011, "Traditional America" written 7-15-2009, "America and the Bible" written 7-11-2011, "Early Teachings of our Nation" written 3-14-2011, "Our Heritage" written 3-6-2-11, "Caesar or God" written 4-2-2011, all of which are available on our web site (

          We have sent out more missionaries and given more charitable help to those in trouble or crisis in the world than any other nation in history.  The United States of America has freed more people, fed more people and gotten health care to more people than any other country in the world.  In time of emergency and disaster, the United States has always come to the aid of those in need. 

          We have been, without doubt, the most prosperous nation in the history of the world.  We are the inventors of the middle class, which gave prosperity to the masses.  Due to poor management, and or deliberate action, we have accumulated a debt which can in no way be sustained.  Current estimates are in excess of one hundred trillion dollars.  There will come a time, in the not to distant future, that we will no longer be able to function under this debt.  Our pending financial collapse will be followed by martial law. When the dollar collapses, the chaos, confusion and panic will leave us no alternative but to establish martial law.  This will necessitate the suspension of our constitution and further limitation of the rights we are used to having.  If the same type of people, who have brought us to this sorry state, are in charge under marshal law, the United States as we know it will no longer exist.    The prosperity of our nation grows and declines in direct relationship to our national relationship with God.  God has had a hedge of protection around our nation since it's founding, but because of our rejection of Him, He has removed this hedge and left us to our own devices; just as He did each time His people Israel forsook Him and worshiped other gods.  The gods of mammon, atheism, secularism, humanism and diversity are just some of the things we have given ourselves over to.  We can't kick God out of our lives, condone sin and abort over fifty million babies and not expect judgment from God.  The earliest settlers, of what turned out to be the United States, found out that Socialism/Communism philosophy was a failure and replaced it with capitalism/entrepreneurship and individual incentive. Our governments redistribution of wealth falls under the same umbrella and the results are turning out to be the same as the early settlers. The Puritans had enough sense to change. Are we as smart as they were?

          At least since World War II, we have been acting as the 'Policeman of the World'.  Most of the world's nations, although dependent on our functioning in this position, are not thrilled with the advantages it has afforded us.  Most of those nations are content to bite the hand that feeds them.  Many lives of our brave people, and much of our treasure has gone into this endeavor.  We have the largest, best trained and best equipped military in the world: for that matter than the world has ever seen.  Even with our military capability and our largess toward those in need, there are those such as the radical Islamists, among others, who wish our downfall.

          Most of our politicians were and are involved in groups referred to by those who believe in conspiracy, as directing the politics and finances of the world.    Whether you believe in these conspiracy theories or not, you must agree that there is or are forces in the world that are in control or at least seeking control.  Groups such as the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderbergers, Bohemian Grove, the Freemasons, and the Trilateral commission, to name a few, are all thought to be working toward a "New World Order".  Many of these groups seem to be in collaboration.  Those of us with a Christian world view realize that there are only two forces that are active in the world.  These are the evil forces of Satan and the good forces of the God of creation.  Some people say that there are three forces, because they include the will of man.  I, however, include the will of man apart from God, under the satanic heading. 

          What has happened to our country?  Starting about one hundred years ago we began to slip away from our foundations and our dependence on the Lord.  I have documented this in the following papers: "American?" written 5-6-2010 , "Americas Future", written 11-2-2010, "Atheism" written 6-21-2012, Bigots and Racists 10-27- 2010, Caesar or God? written 4-2-2011, "Freedom" written 4-4-2010, "Government Church" written 6-1-2010, "Is this a Christian Nation?" written 12-8-2008, "Judeo Christian America" written 12-15-2006, "The Progressives" written 7-4-2012,  "Pastors and Politics" written 4-3-2012, "Politics, God and Us" written 8-24-2011.  Again, these papers are available on our  website.  The one thing we need to keep in mind is what is stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."  This doesn't mean every one must do this; it means that those people in the nation who are called by His name (Jesus/Jehovah = Christians/Jews) will submit themselves to Him and pray for the forgiveness of the sins of the land, He will receive their prayers and act on them.  This could be the salvation of our nation; but only if we comply.

          Even a cursory reading of the Bible and just a basic knowledge of prophesy informs us that all these things, and much more, are predicted to come to pass.  The Bible is the guide to what we should expect in the end time.  Suffice it to say, if we qualify under the Bible's teaching of being 'born again', we will be delivered from the worst.  The rapture will be a sign, to those who are left behind (although some may try to explain it away as alien abduction, or something else just as ridiculous). If you have not submitted your life to Jesus, you need to get right with Him.  Jesus' second coming will be a blessing to some and a curse to others. 

Come quickly Lord Jesus!

Monday, December 2, 2013

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When Should We Judge?

        Most people like to say the Bible says "judge not lest ye be judged"; and it does in Matthew 7:1-5 and Luke 8:37, however, the Bible also says that we should look out for false doctrine, brethren that are sinning, false teachers, the doctrines of men and in the end time the apostate church.  We are to be ever diligent to recognize the wiles of the devil.  We are instructed, in scripture by Jesus and the Apostles, to judge everything by the yardstick of the Word of God.

           2 Peter 2:1-22 says: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;  And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy  conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.) The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam  son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

          What are the warnings given in the Bible for things to be judged by us?  Matthew 7:15-16 warns of false prophets.  Matthew 10:16 says: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."  Matthew 18:18 says what we bind on earth will be bound in Heaven.  We would have to judge what needs to be bound.  Matthew 24:4-5 says: "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.".  Matthew 24:11 says that many false prophets shall arise and deceive many.  Matthew 24:24 says: "For there shall arise false Christ's, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.".  Mark 6:11 and Luke 9:4-5 tell us to kick the dust from our feet in judgment of those who reject the Gospel.  Mark 8:15 says to "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod".  Mark 12:38-40 tells us to beware of the scribes, "which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation". Mark 13:21-22 tells us "if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:  For false Christ's and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect".  In Luke 21:8 Jesus said: "Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draws near: go ye not therefore after them".  John 7:24 says: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment".  Acts 20:29-31 tells us to beware and prepared to judge..  Romans 16:17-18 says to nark them which cause division.  2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us not to be unequally yoked.  2 Corinthians11:12-14 says: "But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."  2 Corinthians 11:26 talks of false brethren.  Galatians 1:7-8 says: "Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."  Philippians 3:2 tells us to beware of evil workers.  Colossians 2:8 says: " Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."  2 Thessalonians 3:6 tells us to withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly.  1 Timothy 4:1 says: "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"  2 Timothy 3:1-5 says: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."  1 Peter 4:17 says: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"  2 Peter 2:1-3 says: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not."  1 John 4:1 says: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."  1 John 4:15-18 talks of false prophets and anti-Christ.  1 John 2:22 speaks of anti-Christ.  2 John 7  talks of deceivers and anti-Christ.  2 John 10-11 says: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  For he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."  Jude 1:18 warns us about mockers in the last time.  Revelation 2:2  tells us about  apostles that are not real.  Revelation 2:6  tells us to hate the Nicolaitanes  that He hates.  Revelation 2:9 says: " I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."   Revelation 2:14-16 Jesus says: " But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."  In Revelation 2:20 Jesus says: " Not withstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou suffers that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols."  In Revelation 3:9 Jesus says: " Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee."  All of these things we are told to judge and avoid.

         What are we to judge today but the gospel of the progressive

movement (left or right), which is one of the present names for the anti-Christ in the world?  This gospel has been known by many names in the past (such as socialism. communism, secularism, humanism, atheism, or any other non-biblical world view).  No matter what it is called, it manifests itself as it has in the past, by its anti-God, anti-morality, anti-family, lawlessness, and ignorance of the things of God.  Trust not in the multitude of man made gods, but of the God who created all things; the Lord God of the Bible, which is the true Gospel. 

         Even in the United States of America, a republic established by Christians, for Christians and based on Jewish/Christian principals, has been attempting for years to kick God out of the public arena.  Atheist organizations, our military, progressive organizations and our schools are among the worst offenders.  The Bible and the Constitution are under attack.  

          Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating in Constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. A former undefeated heavyweight pro-boxer, Barber has taken his hard-hitting style from the boxing ring to the culture war.  He wrote the following which is a prime example of things we should be judging.

"The magnitude of this Obama administration’s “progressive” radicalism becomes more evident with each passing day. In recent months, there has been a drastic spike in acts of both anti-Christian and anti-conservative discrimination and intimidation on military bases across the country. This mounting harassment is not being carried out at the hands of regular enlisted folk but, rather, at the hands of high-ranking officials who, in their official capacity, are targeting Christian and conservative organizations and individuals in an effort to silence them.

It has long been suspected that the Obama administration is using propaganda circulated by the roundly discredited Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, a left-wing extremist group that, in recent years, has adopted two primary goals: 1) raising truckloads of money and 2) smearing as “domestic hate groups” dozens of mainstream Christian ministries like the Family Research Council, or FRC, and the American Family Association, or AFA.

This suspicion has now been verified.

The problem on military bases has gotten so bad, in fact, that the U.S. Congress is demanding answers from the Pentagon. Recently, the AFA-affiliated newsgroup reported that:

“Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-Mississippi) is 1 of 38 members of Congress signing off on a letter to the Secretary of the Army – especially about an incident last month at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in which the Tupelo-based American Family Association was labeled in Army training material as a ‘hate group.’ The Army initially claimed it was an isolated incident.

“‘But as we looked into it, [we found] this is not an isolated incident,’ Nunnelee [told] OneNewsNow. ‘There are a number of cases where the Army has singled out the American Family Association and other Christian organizations as hate groups, and service men and women have been threatened with sanctions if they support these groups.”

After a tremendous public outcry – and in an embarrassing slap to the face of the SPLC – the Pentagon quickly backpedaled, later apologizing about the Camp Shelby incident and publicly admitting that, despite the SPLC’s absurd claims to the contrary, the AFA is not a “hate group.”

In fact, if you happen to be a Bible-believing Christian, you too are hateful.

Share: Still, rather than distancing itself from the anti-Christian SPLC as one might expect, the Obama administration has, instead, strengthened ties to the hard-left outfit. Even after this string of military scandals.

For instance, I recently learned that on its official website, the FBI lists as one of its primary “hate crimes resources,” the Southern Poverty Law Center.

This is especially mysterious when you consider that the FBI’s own verified hate crimes statistics are completely at odds with numbers put out by the SPLC in its fund-raising propaganda. Whereas the FBI indicates that there was a sharp 24.3 percent decrease in hate crimes from 1996 to 2010, with racial hate crimes dropping by 41.9 percent, the SPLC incongruously claims that since 2000, the number of “hate groups” has somehow increased by 67.3 percent.

In this March 22, 2010 file photo, signs promoting equality hang in a storefront in Patchogue, N.Y., the town where Ecuadorian migrant worker Marcelo Lucero was killed two years earlier in a hate crime stabbing. Migrants and activists on Long Island say response to the killing of Lucero has led to an atmosphere of greater tolerance toward Hispanic immigrants. They say the reaction has made it easier for them to go to local authorities when they have been victims of crime. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) 

So send your money right away!

The FBI’s empirical data doesn’t track with the SPLC’s political propaganda. Consequently, by partnering so closely with this discredited organization, the Department of Justice significantly undermines its own credibility.

Still, while the SPLC has proven utterly unreliable in its actuarial acumen – as well as intentionally dishonest – it has also proven demonstrably dangerous in its prolonged campaign of anti-Christian agitation.

You may recall that it was the Southern Poverty Law Center’s somewhat clever, yet patently dishonest and reprehensible strategy of juxtaposing, as fellow “hate groups,” mainstream Christian organizations like the FRC and the AFA alongside violent extremist groups like the Aryan Brotherhood and the Skin Heads that, on Aug. 15, 2012, led to an actual act of domestic terrorism.

On that date, “gay” activist Floyd Lee Corkins II – who later confessed in court that he was spurred-on by the SPLC’s anti-Christian materials – entered the lobby of the Washington-based Family Research Council intending to kill every Christian within.

Corkins was armed with both a gun and a backpack full of ammunition. He also had 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he intended to rub in the faces of his would-be victims. (FRC had recently defended the food chain’s COO Dan Cathy for pro-natural marriage statements he made.)" (

          Knowledge has been expanding exponentially, however wisdom has not followed.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Only by the

knowledge of God, and His wisdom, can we rightly judge the things that are of God and the things that are not.  Without the wisdom of God, man can institute all the 'hope and change' he can muster and it will be of no avail;

and destined to fail.  The god of this world (Satan) can never bring about a true betterment of man (neither is it his intention), because man is not the

center of the universe; the center is God.  Without the wisdom of God we can refer to Dante - "abandon all hope who enter hear".  Therefore we must judge the things of this world, whether they be of God, and abandon all that is not. 

           The "great commission" is not to exalt mankind, it is to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth.  We are meant to judge anything that interferes with this as unworthy.

          If we are to be a part with Christ, at His return, we must judge daily whom we should follow.  The first step would be to follow Jesus' instruction to be born again.  That is the beginning of our walk with Christ.  Once we turn our lives over to Him we can gain the knowledge and wisdom, through His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, to be able to rightly judge all things.

          "In the beginning God" (Genesis 1:10), the Alpha is Jesus.  John 1:1-5 says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not".  In the everlasting, it will be God the Omega.  Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, therefore shouldn't we put our trust in Him?

          Is God judging our nation? I think the answer is obviously yes.  It is beyond doubt that our chickens are coming home to roost.  God is using the uncovering of each of the scandals, for which our government is responsible; to teach us we are going in the wrong direction.  You can’t offend God’s people without consequences and America, once being a predominately Christian nation, qualifies as God’s people. How much it is going to take to turn us around, to do what is right for America is anyone’s guess. I do know that in the history of God’s relationship with man; the consequences will mount in intensity until we finally bend to Gods will, or are destroyed. 

          What I am offering is not from me.  I am relating what God is offering to you, if you can find it in your heart to accept it.  Despite what you may have heard, this is not just any god, it is the God of the bible; which is the God that created everything.  "Ye must be born again".  Jesus, himself said this and the way is described in John 3:16-17 and Romans 10:9-10.  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."  "That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

          As we read through the pages of the Bible we can see that God has given us the knowledge to know what is His best for us and also what we should be aware to avoid.  Condemnation of others is not given to us, however, we are instructed to judge for ourselves what to be associated with and what to avoid.  We are instructed to relate to others what the Word of God says: not in condemnation, but in love.  We are to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  The "great commission" is to bring the Gospel to the world: not in condemnation, but rather as what it is - the Good News that their salvation is available and has been paid for by Jesus.  God will be the final judge of all things.  Hopefully we will all have our names written in the Lambs book of life.