Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August newsletter

Assyrian Martyr's Day

In the beginning of August, Assyrians remember massacres that they have suffered throughout their history. Please remember and pray for Christians who are suffering for their faith in Iraq and in Egypt. August 7, 1933, was the date the Iraqi Army fired upon Assyrian Christian refugees, killing over 300. On October 31, 2010 the worst massacre (that I am aware of) since then took place when 78 people were murdered at church in Baghdad.


Andrew White is the pastor of the Anglican Church in Baghdad, Iraq. He has done a lot to bring attention to the suffering of Iraqi Christians. He recently had an interview printed in the July, 2010 edition of Christianity Today and has a new book out entitled "Faith Under Fire: What the Middle East Conflict Had Taught Me About God."

Stephen Andrew Missick appears in Biblical Archeological Review

My name appears on page 24 of Biblical Archeology Review July/August 2011 edition the eighth name from the bottom.

Biblical Archeological Review features Aramaic

On page 16, there is a reference to the story of Abgar the king of Edessa and the Mandylion. (Ian Wilson beliefs that the Shroud of Turin is authentic and is the Mandylion. The legend is that the Aramaic king Abgar sent a message to Jesus to come and heal him. Jesus politely refused to come but promised to send an apostle in his stead. Later, Thaddeus arrived, healed Abgar of his affliction and converted him to Christianity. The story is told in "The Doctrine of Addai" which I retell in my book "Saint Thaddeus and the King of the Assyrians" which is available from

On page 20, the obituary of Donny George is given. He was the head of Iraq's National Museum and was a leading figure for the recovery of treasures looted during the chaos of the invasion of Iraq. He lived from 1950-2011, died of a heart attack at a Toronto airport. He was born with the last name of Youkhanna in the town of Habbaniya in central Iraq. He was threatened with death by Shiite fanatics because of his Christian faith and was forced to flee Iraq. The article in BAR describes him as "an Assyrian Christian."

On page 22, an article states that "Hebrew and Aramaic…were spoken (and written) in Judea [at the time of Christ]. And says "Hebrew and Aramaic were used primarily for informal, private inscriptions, such as those that often adorned Jewish burial boxes, or ossuries." These and more than 1,100 other Jerusalem inscriptions are cataloged in the recently published fist volume of a long-term epigraphic project that aims to publish all of the inscriptions ever found in Israel from the time of Alexander the Great to the time of the so-called "prophet" Mohammed. The book is entitled "Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaea Palasestinae."

On page 72 is a picture of a "Samalion" inscription in "Old Aramaic." It was found in Zincirli, Turkey. It shows Kuttamuwa of the kingdom of Sam'al feasting.

Bible Project

David Marcus, Dr. Rafael Zer, Dr. Michael Segal and Assaf Rosen-Zvi are working on the "Bible Project" at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In this "Bible Project" they are attempting to create a "critical edition" of the text of the "Hebrew" Bible or Old Testament. (The "Hebrew" Bible is written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The language of the Israelites is called "Canaanite" and "Judean" in the Old Testament-and it is never called "Hebrew.")

Gorgias Press

Gorgias Press presented an catalog entitled "Syriac Studies and Eastern Christianity." I find many of their books cost-prohibitive. They are very expensive. On the other hand-they have excellent books on Aramaic Christianity that have been out of print. So-if you have a few spare bucks-it is a great resource. See:

Going through it, I noticed some books taking different approaches towards Islam.

First, is the appeasement approach. In this approach, Christians sing Islam's praises and stress similarities-and ignore mass killings and persecution of Christians. For Christians in the Middle East-this is really the only option they have. However, it is a dead end.

Secondly, is the confrontational approach. Many ex-Muslims and certain Christian refugees, especially among the Copts of Egypt-see U.S. Copts. Take this approach. This is the approach I feel we must take. Once they kill off all the Christians in the Middle East, they are coming after every other Christian. The fight is inevitable. We might as well prepare for it. (It is possible that Islam could suddenly suffer a loss of power. If there is a financial collapse or political upheaval –Petro-dollars may have to be diverted away from the advancement of Islam. Oil wealth is what is driving all of this so-called "revival of Islam" garbage. On the other hand, political correctness is also driving radical Islam-and it is deeply ingrained in America-especially in colleges and universities. In reality, Islam ISN'T the answer. When the problems in the Muslim world worsen many Muslims may finally begin to realize this. But, since Islam is a cultural identity, and not only a religious identity, Christians still face challenges during the more "secular" trends. What this means is that, during a time period, when there isn't the amount of religious fervor that we see today, non-Muslims are outside of the Muslim "umma," nonetheless, and as outsiders, they face discrimination, even in less fanatical times.)

Thirdly, is the denial approach. This approach admits that Christians are killed by blames "Ottomans," who don't really exist anymore or some other factor. This approach is also taken in "The Lost History of Christianity" by Phillip Jenkins. This approach is disingenuous. I think, we need to get real and deal with reality.

Appeals Court Lets Contractor's Family Sue Palestinian Authority Over His Death

An appeals court ruling allows a case to proceed against the Palestinian Authority by the family of a contractor killed by a roadside bomb while providing security to State Department employees during an October 2003 trip to the Gaza Strip. On Friday, the three-judge panel, members of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, released a ruling explaining that the family of Mark Parsons can sue the
Palestinian Authority under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1991 over questions of material support by the PA to a terror group. The decision overturns part of a lower court's summary judgment in favor of the PA. "We believe a reasonable juror could conclude that Palestinian Authority employees provided material support to the bomber," reads
the ruling. Mark Parsons and two other members of DynCorp International were killed by a roadside bomb while protecting a convoy that included State Department employees on their way to interview Palestinian Fulbright Scholarship applicants. A roadside bomb exploded as the convoy traveled past the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, about a quarter of a city block away from a manned PA security checkpoint

Read more:

This is good news. We need to make terrorists pay. If carrying out a terrorist attack has consequences, you won't have states sponsors of terrorism. Bush should have led the families of the victims of the 9-11 attacks sue Saudi Arabia.

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