It is generally agreed that Jesus and his disciples primarily spoke Aramaic, the common language of Judea in the first century AD, most likely a Galilean dialect distinguishable from that of Jerusalem. The towns of Nazareth and Capernaum in Galilee, where Jesus spent most of his time, were Aramaic-speaking communities.
According to Dead Sea Scrolls
archaeologist, Yigael Yadin, Aramaic was the spoken language of Jews until Simon bar Kokhba tried to restore Hebrew as the official language of Jews during Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135 AD). Yigael Yadin noticed the shift from Aramaic to Hebrew during the time of Bar Kokhba revolt (132 - 135 AD). In Yigael Yadin's book "Bar Kokhba: The rediscovery of the legendary hero of the last Jewish Revolt Against Imperial Rome", Yadin notes, "It is interesting that the earlier documents are written in Aramaic while the later ones are in Hebrew. Possibly the change was made by a special decree of Bar-Kokhba who wanted to restore Hebrew as the official language of the state" (page 181).
I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness; for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations, and so adorn their discourses with the smoothness of their periods; because they look upon this sort of accomplishment as common, not only to all sorts of free-men, but to as many of the servants as please to learn them. But they give him the testimony of being a wise man who is fully acquainted with our laws, and is able to interpret their meaning; on which account, as there have been many who have done their endeavors with great patience to obtain this learning, there have yet hardly been so many as two or three that have succeeded therein, who were immediately well rewarded for their pains. - Antiquities of Jews XX, XI
Jewish Wars (Book 1, Preface, Paragraph 1):
I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians. Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work]."
In New Testament Bible, there are several names with "Bar". They are "Bar"tholomew, "Bar"abbas, "Bar"nabbas, "Bar"sabbas, "Bar"Timaeus, Simon "Bar" Jonah, and "Bar" Jesus. Aramaic word "Bar" means Son. In Hebrew, "Ben" means son. For example, Benjamin in Old Testament, and Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion.
Obama cuts foreign aide to Egypt to punish the Egyptians for overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood
In order to punish the people of Egypt for overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama is cutting financial aid that we give to Egypt. Notice that when Egypt was led by Islamic radicals and was oppressing Christians, even killing them in the streets, Obama stood silent and continued to give them money.
Please pray for Middle Eastern Christians, especially, the Coptic and Assyrian Christians.
New Books on Modern Aramaic
Nicholas Al-Jeelo has written a new book on learning how to speak Modern Aramaic. I think this is very good because I think the language of Jesus should be preserved.
Syriac Sources for the Early Church Fathers:
The Ascents of James and the Apology of Aristides
People often think of the Greek and Latin languages when they think of the writings of the Early Church Fathers. However, some of the Church Fathers wrote in Syriac and certain works of the Church Fathers are preserved on in Syriac. Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic and is closely related to the Aramaic dialect that was the native language of Jesus Christ.
There are two important writings of the Early Church Fathers that have been preserved in Syriac. These are "The Ascents of James" and "The Apology of Aristides." "The Ascents of James" was written some time in the late first century to the mid-second century. It was most likely written some time around 130 A.D. "The Ascents of James" is an ancient book believed to have been composed by a sect of Christian Jews known as the Ebionites. It tells the story of the Twelve Apostles defending the doctrines of Christianity against detractors. The setting of the story is in the Temple of Jerusalem. The theology of the book is orthodox and non-objectionable, although the Ebionites are considered a heretical sect. One of the interesting statements in the book is that Christians believe in the Old Testament because Jesus proclaimed it so, not because they proclaim Jesus. This means that Jesus is greater than the Torah of Moses and all the writings of the Old Testament. The Ascents of James is preserved because it was inserted into the Clementine Recollections and the Clementine Homilies. The Clementine literature tells the story of the Apostle Simon Peter, his disciple Clement and Peter's struggles against the Samaritan Simon the Sorcerer. Interestingly, Jewish Christian literature, such as the Ascents of James, was incorporated into the Clementine Literature. Although originally written in Greek, the Clementine Literature survives only in Syriac and Latin.
An English translation of "The Ascents of James" with two columns, one a translation made from the Aramaic and the other from Latin is available in Robert Van Voorst's The Ascents of James: History and Theology of a Jewish-Christian Community. I also have a version of "The Ascents of James" that I have written that is simply titled "The Ascents of James" by Stephen Andrew Missick.
The Apology of Aristides was written to Hadrian, the Roman Emperor who ruled from 10 August 117 – 10 July 138. Obviously, it was written some time within that time period. This means it most likely was written around the same time that The Ascents of James was (unless of course, The Ascents of James dates to the late first century). The Apology of Aristides is preserved in Syriac. A version in Greek is preserved within the text of The Life of Barlaam and Josaphat which is a Christianized version of the story of Buddha. (Some Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Slavic Orthodox venerated Saint Josaphat, actually the Buddha, as a Christian Saint.) The Apology of Aristides is an explanation of Christianity and a demonstration of Christianity's superiority. On interesting this about comparing the Greek verses the Syriac versions, is that the Greek version speaks of the Chaldeans, and the Syriac version avoids using this word and substitutes others in its place. It also seems that the Syriac version is more of a free-translation, or a paraphrase rather than being a literal translation. Another important thing about the Apology of Aristides is that it seems to be influenced by an early Christian book entitled "The Preaching of Peter," which was considered by some early Christians to belong within the canon of the New Testament, but is now, unfortunately, lost.
(I wonder how the story of the Buddha made it to the West as "The Life of Barlaam and Josaphat." The Assyrian missionaries, of course, had encountered Buddhism, when the church spread throughout Central Asia and China. According to the legend, King Abenner or Avenier in India persecuted the Christian Church in his realm, founded by the Apostle Thomas. When astrologers predicted that his own son would some day become a Christian, Abenner had the young prince Josaphat isolated from external contact. Despite the imprisonment, Josaphat met the hermit Saint Barlaam and converted to Christianity. Josaphat kept his faith even in the face of his father's anger and persuasion. Eventually Abenner converted, turned over his throne to Josaphat, and retired to the desert to become a hermit. Josaphat himself later abdicated and went into seclusion with his old teacher Barlaam.)
Sayings of Saint Isaac of Nineveh
I am currently writing a paper on the life of the Assyrian Saint, Isaac of Nineveh. Here are some of his sayings:
"The knowledge of the Cross is concealed in the sufferings of the Cross."
"The man who follows Christ in solitary mourning is greater than he who praises Christ amid the congregation of men."
"Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it. This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits."
Mark Dickens is currently working on research on Syriac studies, specifically, the Assyrian Church of the East in Central Asia. He is doing his research at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Mark Dickens says: My research concerns the interaction between Syriac Christianity and the inhabitants of Central Eurasia (particularly the Turkic peoples) between the 6th and 14th centuries. Of particular interest is the contrast between the historically multi-religious nature of Central Asia (including animism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism and Islam) and the predominantly Christian and Semitic culture of Syriac speakers and writers.
My previous position (Apr. 2008-Sept. 2011) involved the cataloguing of approximately 500 Syriac manuscripts discovered in Turfan, Xinjiang Province, China in the early 20th century and now preserved in the Turfan Collection in Berlin. This is part of a larger project to catalogue some 1100 manuscripts in Syriac, Christian Sogdian and Christian Old Turkic from Turfan (http://www.soas.ac.uk/ceoc/turfan/). My PhD dissertation (Cambridge, 2008), Turkāyē: Turkic Peoples in Syriac Literature prior to the Seljüks, explored how the Turkic peoples of Central Asia before the Seljük invasion of the Middle East in the 11th century are presented and perceived in published Syriac literature. I have also written and spoken on such topics as 1) the role of the Syriac Psalter and other biblical and liturgical texts in Central Asia (particularly Turfan); 2) multilingualism and other characteristics of Christianity in medieval Central Asia; 3) Syriac gravestones and other Christian inscriptions discovered in Central Asia and 4) the ecclesiastical organization and structure of Syriac Christianity along the Silk Road. The interaction between Syriac and Central Asian/Turkic culture can be examined from several angles. On the one hand, Syriac literature provides important insights on Eurasian steppe nomads, including the Turks, which can supplement references found in other literary traditions. On the other hand, Syriac texts and inscriptions from both the Middle East and Central Asia often give unique information on the spread of Christianity into the Turkic world and other parts of Asia.
Important research questions to be considered include:
1) How did Syriac writers view nomadic steppe peoples, including Turkic groups, and how did those perceptions change over time and in different sociopolitical contexts?
2) In their writings on Turkic peoples, to what extent were Syriac writers drawing on other literary traditions, especially Muslim and Byzantine literature, and to what extent were they innovative and even influential on those literatures?
3) What role did Syriac Christianity play in opening up corridors of interaction between the West and the East, including the propagation of Christianity amongst various Turkic tribes in Central Asia?
4) To what extent was the Christian message accommodated to Central Asian/Turkic culture and to what extent was it a decidedly foreign influence?
5) What do Syriac and Syro-Turkic manuscripts and inscriptions from Central Asia reveal about the faith and practice of Turkic peoples who converted to Christianity?
6) How did Central Asian Christians relate to other faith communities (animists, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Manichaeans and Muslims) in Central Asia between the 6th and 14th centuries?
I have known Mark Dickens for years, but we haven't met personally.
The Modern Assyrian Research Archive Foundation
This organizations website is www.assyrianarchive.org. Their goal is to digitize all documents in Modern Assyrian Aramaic from 150 years ago until today. They have gathers a vast array of Assyrian periodicals-newspapers, magazines, ect. They also have tried to scan and digitize all Assyrian libraries. Their goal is to collect mostly secular materials, but they do have some Christian literature. They want marriage certificates, baptismal certificates, and other official documents.
The Relations between the Assyrian Church of the East and Western Churches
Recently, while I was at the 80th Assyrian Convention (which was at San Diego this year), I attended the Modern Assyrian Research Archive presentation. The presenters want Assyrians to give them documents that they inherit from their parents when their parents decease. While giving the presentation, they showed literature produced by the Church of England in Modern Assyrian. The presenter made a snide remark-"Here is an example of literatures foreigners wanted us to read." My understanding was that, when the Church of the England engaged in inter-faith dialogue, the encounters where very cordial and the goal of the Church of England was not to make conversions or to create schisms. Maybe the presenter was displaying his ignorance of the relationship between the Church of the East and the Church of England.
Most of the relations between the Church of the East and the churches of the west have been negative. The Roman Catholic Church produced a schism within the Church of the East. The faction that broke off is now the Chaldean Catholic Church. There is a great deal of tensions between the Assyrians and the Chaldeans. The Presbyterians also had a mission to the Assyrian Church and many Assyrian Protestants and Evangelicals are Presbyterians and trace their origins to this mission. The Presbyterians hoped to create a reformation within the Church of the East, of course many Assyrians were not interested in such a reformation.
Now the Presbyterians face a lot of criticism for "stealing sheep" from the Church of the East, but I think that they also did some good. They introduced a printing press and increased literacy among the Assyrians. If I have an opportunity, I would like to research the issue a little more.
A book that explores the relation between the Church of the East and the Church of England is The Church of the East and the Church of England: A History of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission by J.F. Coakley. The book description follows: In the years before the First World War the Church of England maintained a mission of help to the Assyrian Church of the East (popularly known as the Nestorian Church) in its homeland, a corner of eastern Turkey and northwestern Persia. Its ideal was to restore this body to its ancient vitality and its place as an independent branch of the true church. The Mission faced many problems. At home there was the difficulty of justifying support of a "heretical" church. In the field, the confidence of the Assyrians proved difficult to gain, especially in competition with other missions: French Catholic and American Presbyterian. Still, it had notable accomplishments. Archbishop Benson, the founder, strictly ruled out any proselytizing to the Anglican church, and in this respect his Assyrian Mission withstands scrutiny in modern eyes better than some other missions of the Victorian era. The first study to cover this history, Coakley's book will be of interest to scholars concerned with oriental churches and church history, as well as students of Middle Eastern history. (This book costs $200, so it is out of my budget for now. Things are a little tight for now.)
The official Report of The Archbishop's Mission to the Assyrian Christians from 1908, 1911 and 1914-15 can be read online. (I read of one of the Western printers printing the Divine Liturgies of the Assyrians, but leaving a blank space for the name "Mar Nestorius" because they didn't want to print anything not orthodox! I was told the Anglicans did this, but I need to do my research and find out for sure. There is nothing non-Orthodox about the liturgies the Assyrians use, but some find Nestorius objectionable.)
The reason why I am concerned about this issue is two-fold, first, this is an important issue that needs to be researched. Secondly, I am going to work with Assyrians for my doctoral work and my aim is not to win converts from the Assyrian Church or create that perception in any way. In Chicago, many Assyrians are leaving the Assyrian Church. This is a problem because the Assyrian Church of the East plays a vital role in preserving the Assyrian identity and culture.
Once I check my doctoral proposal and make sure that no one will find anything objectionable about it, I will publish it.
Another thing I learned at the Convention explained a mystery that I have faced. A very small minority of Assyrians are anti-Christian and are very vocal about it. Some espouse the worship of pagan Assyrian gods and others atheism. Where did this come from? It turns out that some Assyrians in the Middle East turned to Communism in the early twentieth century. So what was the attraction to Communism? Well, it seems to still have a powerful influence here in America, because there are some Communists in the Democrat Party today. (I am not trying to cause offense, it is just a fact. There are many Marxist professors in America who identify themselves as Democrats.) The reason why certain Assyrians were attracted to Communism was because it promised to do away with religion and make all men equal. The reason why Assyrians are not treated equally with Muslims is because they are a non-Muslim people. Their religion made them the victims of discrimination. These naive Assyrians though that Communism would liberate them from discrimination and persecution with its promises of equality. However, Yemen was Communist and Muslim, as were the "Stans" of Central Asia. Certain Central Asian Republics are still Communist and Muslim and still persecute Christians. Communism accommodates Islam and the persecution of non-Muslim remains. Communism cannot defeat Theism, as has been proven in the fall of the Soviet Union. After 70 years of forced atheism and persecution of Christians, most Russians today believe in God and the Russian Orthodox Church has become a powerful force in modern Russian life. Islam is itself a political system, as Communism is, and while Islam also has its internal weaknesses, it is a more powerful, and a much more enduring system than Communism. These people were attracted to Communism based upon their yearning to be free. So, now I understand the phenomenon of anti-Christian Assyrians. Some Assyrians blame their plight, the loss of independence and nationhood, on Christianity. But, if they weren't Christian, but had converted to Islam, they would have been Arabized long ago (I mean assimilated with the Arabs), or still be a stateless people like the Berbers of North Africa or the Kurds. The reality is that it was their Christian identity that allowed them to be able to preserve their language and cultural identity.
Stephen Missick, PO Box 882, Shepherd TX 77371 www.youtube.com/aramaic12
The Seventy Disciples
Many people are familiar with the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. What isn't as widely known are the Seventy Disciples of Jesus. Luke discusses the Seventy Disciples in Luke 10.
The passage from Luke 10 reads:
- And after these things, the Lord did appoint also other seventy, and sent them by twos before his face, to every city and place whither he himself was about to come,
- then said he unto them, `The harvest indeed [is] abundant, but the workmen few; beseech ye then the Lord of the harvest, that He may put forth workmen to His harvest.
- `Go away; lo, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves;
- carry no bag, no scrip, nor sandals; and salute no one on the way;
- and into whatever house ye do enter, first say, Peace to this house;
- and if indeed there may be there the son of peace, rest on it shall your peace; and if not so, upon you it shall turn back.
- `And in that house remain, eating and drinking the things they have, for worthy [is] the workman of his hire; go not from house to house,
- and into whatever city ye enter, and they may receive you, eat the things set before you,
- and heal the ailing in it, and say to them, The reign of God hath come nigh to you.
- `And into whatever city ye do enter, and they may not receive you, having gone forth to its broad places, say,
- And the dust that hath cleaved to us, from your city, we do wipe off against you, but this know ye, that the reign of God hath come nigh to you;
- and I say to you, that for Sodom in that day it shall be more tolerable than for that city.
- `Wo to thee, Chorazin; wo to thee, Bethsaida; for if in Tyre and Sidon had been done the mighty works that were done in you, long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes, they had reformed;
- but for Tyre and Sidon it shall be more tolerable in the judgment than for you.
- `And thou, Capernaum, which unto the heaven wast exalted, unto hades thou shalt be brought down.
- `He who is hearing you, doth hear me; and he who is putting you away, doth put me away; and he who is putting me away, doth put away Him who sent me.'
- And the seventy turned back with joy, saying, `Sir, and the demons are being subjected to us in thy name;'
- and he said to them, `I was beholding the Adversary, as lightning from the heaven having fallen;
- lo, I give to you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and on all the power of the enemy, and nothing by any means shall hurt you;
- but, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subjected to you, but rejoice rather that your names were written in the heavens.'
According to the tradition of the Assyrian Church of the East, Addai and Mari, the two apostles who brought the Gospel to Mesopotamia, were of the Seventy. We know the names of the Twelve Apostles, but who were these other men? Obviously, some of the Seventy are mentioned in the Bible. This includes Mattathias, Barnabas, Joseph Barsabbas, Judas Barsabbas, Cleopas and others. In the Early Church period, theologians did try to list the names of the Seventy. Solomon, Nestorian bishop of Basra in the 13th century offers the following list:
The names of the seventy.
- James, the son of Joseph;
- Simon the son of Cleopas;
- Cleopas his father;
- Manaeus (?);
- Ananias, who baptised Paul;
- Cephas, who preached at Antioch;
- Joseph the senator;
- Nicodemus the archon;
- Nathaniel the chief scribe;
- Justus, that is Joseph, who is called Barshabbâ;
- John, surnamed Mark (John Mark);
- Mnason, who received Paul;
- Manaël, the foster-brother of Herod;
- Simon called Niger;
- Jason, who is (mentioned) in the Acts (of the apostles);
- Simon the Cyrenian, their father;
- Lucius the Cyrenian;
- Another Judah, who is mentioned in the Acts (of the apostles);
- Judah, who is called Simon;
- Eurion (Orion) the splay-footed;
- Thôrus (?);
- Thorîsus (?);
- Nicolausthe Antiochian proselyte
- Andronicus the Greek
- Luke the physician
- Apollos the elect
- Popillius (or Publius)
- Stephen (not the Corinthian)
- Herodion the son of Narcissus
- Olympas; Mark the Evangelist
- Mâr Mâri
- Kîrîtôn (Crito)
- Gaius, who received Paul
(See The Book of the Bee, Chapter XLIX, The Names of the Apostles in Order". Solomon notes that some of the Seventy fell away. I included some of those names in this list to complete the number of seventy. The Book of the Bee is available on-line at http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/bb/bb51.htm. About Solomon and the Book of the Bee: The Book of the Bee is a collection of theological and historical texts compiled by Solomon of Akhlat in the thirteenth century. The book consists of 55 chapters discussing various topics including the creation, heaven and earth, the angels, darkness, paradise, Old Testament patriarchs, New Testament events, lists of kings and patriarchs, and the final day of resurrection. The book was originally written in Syriac and has been translated into English and Arabic. Solomon of Akhlat was a bishop of the Church of the East during the thirteenth century. He was bishop of Basrah, Iraq, and was present at the consecration of Catholicos Sabr Isho in 1222.
Solomon the Assyrian on Mary of Magdala
He says, "The names of the Maries who are mentioned in the Gospels: Mary the Virgin, the mother of our Lord; Mary the wife of Joseph; Mary the mother of Cleopas and Joseph; Mary the wife of Peter, the mother of Mark the Evangelist; and Mary the sister of Lazarus. Some say that Mary the sinner is Mary of Magdala; but others do not agree with this, and say that she was other than the Magdalene. Those who say that she was the Magdalene tell us that she built herself a tower with the wages of fornication; and those who say that she was other than the Magdalene, say that Mary Magdalene was called after the name of her town Magdala, and that she was a pure and holy woman." In Aramaic "Magdala" means "Tower." These is a town called Magdala near Tiberius on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. These arguments about Mary of Magdala continue today.
The List of the Seventy Apostles by Hippolytus of Rome
Hippolytus of Rome was a disciple of Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of Apostle John. Hippolytus's works were lost for a time until their discovery at a monastery on Mt. Athos in 1854. While his major work The Refutation of All Heresies was readily accepted (once the false attribution to Origen was resolved), his two small works, On the Twelve Apostles of Christ, and On the Seventy Apostles of Christ, are still regarded as dubious, put in the appendix of his works in the voluminous collection of early church fathers. Here is the complete text of Hippolytus' On the Seventy Apostles of Christ:
1. James the Lord's brother, bishop of Jerusalem.
2. Cleopas, bishop of Jerusalem.
3. Matthias, who supplied the vacant place in the number of the twelve apostles.
4. Thaddeus, who conveyed the epistle to Augarus.
5. Ananias, who baptized Paul, and was bishop of Damascus.
6. Stephen, the first martyr.
7. Philip, who baptized the eunuch.
8. Prochorus, bishop of Nicomedia, who also was the first that departed, 11 believing together with his daughters.
9. Nicanor died when Stephen was martyred.
10. Timon, bishop of Bostra.
11. Parmenas, bishop of Soli.
12. Nicolaus, bishop of Samaria.
13. Barnabas, bishop of Milan.
14. Mark the evangelist, bishop of Alexandria.
15. Luke the evangelist.
These two belonged to the seventy disciples who were scattered by the offence of the word which Christ spoke, "Except a man eat my flesh, and drink my blood, he is not worthy of me." But the one being induced to return to the Lord by Peter's instrumentality, and the other by Paul's, they were honored to preach that Gospel on account of which they also suffered martyrdom, the one being burned, and the other being crucified on an olive tree.
16. Silas, bishop of Corinth.
17. Silvanus, bishop of Thessalonica.
18. Crisces (Crescens), bishop of Carchedon in Gaul.
19. Epænetus, bishop of Carthage.
20. Andronicus, bishop of Pannonia.
21. Amplias, bishop of Odyssus.
22. Urban, bishop of Macedonia.
23. Stachys, bishop of Byzantium.
24. Barnabas, bishop of Heraclea
25. Phygellus, bishop of Ephesus. He was of the party also of Simon.
26. Hermogenes. He, too, was of the same mind with the former.
27. Demas, who also became a priest of idols.
28. Apelles, bishop of Smyrna.
29. Aristobulus, bishop of Britain.
30. Narcissus, bishop of Athens.
31. Herodion, bishop of Tarsus.
32. Agabus the prophet.
33. Rufus, bishop of Thebes.
34. Asyncritus, bishop of Hyrcania.
35. Phlegon, bishop of Marathon.
36. Hermes, bishop of Dalmatia.
37. Patrobulus,1 bishop of Puteoli.
38. Hermas, bishop of Philippi.
39. Linus, bishop of Rome.
40. Caius, bishop of Ephesus.
41. Philologus, bishop of Sinope
42, 43. Olympus and Rhodion were martyred in Rome.
44. Lucius, bishop of Laodicea in Syria.
45. Jason, bishop of Tarsus.
46. Sosipater, bishop of Iconium
47. Tertius, bishop of Iconium.
48. Erastus, bishop of Panellas.
49. Quartus, bishop of Berytus.
50. Apollo, bishop of Cæsarea.
52. Sosthenes, bishop of Colophonia.
53. Tychicus, bishop of Colophonia.
54. Epaphroditus, bishop of Andriace.
55. Cæsar, bishop of Dyrrachium.
56. Mark, cousin to Barnabas, bishop of Apollonia.
57. Justus, bishop of Eleutheropolis.
58. Artemas, bishop of Lystra.
59. Clement, bishop of Sardinia.
60. Onesiphorus, bishop of Corone.
61. Tychicus, bishop of Chalcedon.
62. Carpus, bishop of Berytus in Thrace.
63. Evodus, bishop of Antioch.
64. Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea.
65. Mark, who is also John, bishop of Bibloupolis.
66. Zenas, bishop of Diospolis.
67. Philemon, bishop of Gaza.
68, 69. Aristarchus and Pudes.
70. Trophimus, who was martyred along with Paul.
- James "the Lord's brother" (James the Just), author of the Epistle of James, and first Bishop of Jerusalem. Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3, Acts 12:17, 15:13; Epistle of James.
- Agabus. Reference to in Acts 11:28; 21:10.
- Amplias. Reference to in Romans 16:8
- Mark the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of Mark and Bishop of Alexandria
- Luke the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of Luke
- Simeon, son of Cleopas, 2nd Bishop of Jerusalem
- Barnabas, companion of Paul
- Justus, Bishop of Eleutheropolis
- Thaddeus of Edessa (not the Apostle called Thaddeus), also known as Saint Addai
- Ananias, Bishop of Damascus
- Stephen, one of the Seven Deacons, the first martyr
- Philip the Evangelist, one of the Seven Deacons, Bishop of Tralles in Asia Minor
- Prochorus, one of the Seven Deacons, Bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia
- Nicanor the Deacon, one of the Seven Deacons
- Timon, one of the Seven Deacons
- Parmenas the Deacon, one of the Seven Deacons
- Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus
- Titus, Bishop of Crete
- Philemon, Bishop of Gaza
- Onesimus (Not the Onesimus mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon)
- Epaphras, Bishop of Andriaca
- Silas, Bishop of Corinth
- Crispus, Bishop of Chalcedon in Galilee
- Epenetus, Bishop of Carthage
- Andronicus, Bishop of Pannonia
- Stachys, Bishop of Byzantium
- Amplias, Bishop of Odissa (Odessus)
- Urban, Bishop of Macedonia
- Narcissus, Bishop of Athens
- Apelles, Bishop of Heraklion
- Aristobulus, Bishop of Britain
- Herodion, Bishop of Patras
- Agabus the Prophet
- Rufus, Bishop of Thebes
- Asyncritus, Bishop of Hyrcania
- Phlegon, Bishop of Marathon
- Hermes, Bishop of Philippopolis
- Parrobus, Bishop of Pottole
- Hermas, Bishop of Dalmatia
- Pope Linus, Bishop of Rome
- Gaius, Bishop of Ephesus
- Philologus, Bishop of Sinope
- Lucius of Cyrene, Bishop of Laodicea in Syria
- Jason, Bishop of Tarsus
- Sosipater, Bishop of Iconium
- Tertius, transcriber of the Epistle to the Romans and Bishop of Iconium
- Erastus, Bishop of Paneas
- Quartus, Bishop of Berytus
- Euodias, Bishop of Antioch
- Onesiphorus, Bishop of Cyrene
- Clement, Bishop of Sardis
- Sosthenes, Bishop of Colophon
- Apollos, Bishop of Caesarea
- Tychicus, Bishop of Colophon
- Carpus, Bishop of Beroea in Thrace
- John Mark (commonly considered identical to Mark the Evangelist: see 4 above), bishop of Byblos
- Zenas the Lawyer, Bishop of Diospolis
- Aristarchus, Bishop of Apamea in Syria
- Mark, Bishop of Apollonia
- Artemas, Bishop of Lystra
- Achaicus 1 Corinthians 16:17
- Tabitha, a woman disciple, whom Peter raised from the dead
Also, some lists name a few different disciples than the ones listed above. Other names commonly included are:
- Another Stephen
- Cephas, Bishop of Iconium
- Caesar, Bishop of Dyrrhachium
- Another Mark, Bishop of Apollonias
- Another Tychicus, Bishop of Chalcedon in Bithynia
These are usually included at the expense of the aforementioned Timothy, Titus, Archippus, Crescens, Olympas, Epaphroditus, Quadratus, Aquila, Fortunatus, and/or Achaicus.
Another Version (with Biblical References):
- Archaicus. Reference to in 1 Corinthians 16:17
- Agabus. Reference to in Acts 11:28; 21:10
- Amplias, appointed by St. Andrew as bishop of Lydda of Odyssopolis (Diospolis) in Judea. He died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:8.
- Ananias, who baptized St. Paul. He was the bishop of Damascus. He became a martyr by being stoned in Eleutheropolis. Reference to in Acts 9:10-17; 22:12
- Andronicus, bishop of Pannonia. Reference to in Romans 16:17
- Apelles, bishop of Heraclea (in Trachis). Reference to in Romans 16:10
- Apollos. He was a bishop of several places over time: Crete (though this is questioned), Corinth, Smyrna, and Caesarea. Reference to in Acts 18:24; 19:1; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:4-22; 4:6; 16:12, Titus 3:13
- Aquila. He was martyred. Reference to in Acts 18:2, 18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19
- Archippus. Reference to in Colossians 4:17; Philemon 2
- Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea in Syria. He was martyred under Nero. "Aristarchus, whom Paul mentions several times, calling him a 'fellow laborer,' became bishop of Apamea in Syria." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24
- Aristobulus, bishop of Britain. "… the brother of the apostle Barnabas, preached the gospel in Great Britain and died peacefully there." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in Romans 16:14
- Artemas, bishop of Lystra in Lycia. Reference to in Titus 3:12
- Aristarchus, bishop of Hyracania in Asia. Reference to in Romans 16:14
- Barnabas. "A Jew of the Tribe of Levi, was born in Cyprus of wealthy parents. He is said to have studied under Gamaliel with Saul of Tarsus, who was to become Paul the apostle. Originally named Joseph, he was called Barnabas (Son of Consolation) by the apostles because he had a rare gift of comforting people's hearts. He sought out Paul when everyone else was afraid of him, bringing him to the apostles. It was Barnabas whom the apostles first sent to Antioch with Paul. Their long association was broken only when Barnabas was determined to take his cousin Mark, whom Paul did not trust just then, on a missionary journey. The three were later reconciled. Many ancient accounts say Barnabas was the first to preach in Rome and in Milan, but he was martyred in Cyprus, then buried by Mark at the western gate of the city of Salamis." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in Acts 4:36; 9:27; 11-15; 1 Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 2:1,9,13; Colossians 4:10
- Caesar, bishop of Dyrrhachium (in the Peloponnese of Greece)
- Carpus, bishop of Berroia (Verria, in Macedonia. Reference to in 2 Timothy 4:13
- Clement, bishop in Sardis. Reference to in Philippians 4:3
- Cephas, bishop of Iconium, Pamphyllia.
- Cleopas, was with the Lord on the road to Emmaus. Reference to in Luke 24:18; John 19:25
- Crescens, later bishop of Galatia. He was martyred under the Emperor Trajan. Reference to in 2 Timothy 4:10
- Crispus, bishop of Aegina, Greece. Reference to in Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 1:14
- Epaphras. Reference to in Colossians 1:7; 4:12; Philemon 23
- Epaphroditus, bishop of the Thracian city of Adriaca. Reference to in Philippians 2:25; 4:18
- Epaenetus, bishop of Carthage. Reference to in Romans 16:5
- Erastus. He served as a deacon and steward to the Church of Jerusalem. Later he served in Palestine. Reference to in Acts 19:22; Romans 16:23; 2 Timothy 4:20
- Euodias(Evodius), first bishop of Antioch after St.Peter. He wrote several compositions. At the age of sixty-six, under the Emperor Nero, he was martyred. Reference to in Philippians 4:2
- Fortunatus. Reference to in 1 Corinthians 16:17
- Gaius, bishop of Ephesus. Reference to in Acts 19:29; 20:4; Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:14; 3 John 1
- Hermas, bishop in Philipopoulis. He wrote The Shepherd of Hermas. He died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:14
- Hermes, bishop of Dalmatia. Reference to in Romans 16:14
- Herodion, a relative of the Apostle Paul, bishop of Neoparthia. He was beheaded in Rome. Reference to in Romans 16:11
- James, brother of the Lord (also called "the Less" or "the Just"). He was a (step-)brother to Jesus, by Jesus' father Joseph, through a previous marriage. James was the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Reference to in Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Acts 12:17; 15:13; Epistle of James
- Jason, bishop of Tarsus. Traveling with Sosipater to Corfu, the two were able, after an attempt made at their lives by the king of Corfu, to convert his majesty. Reference to in Acts 17:5-9
- Justus, brother to the Lord and bishop of Eleutheropolis. He was the half-brother of Christ (as was Sts. James, Jude, and Simon) through Joseph's previous marriage to Salome. He died a martyr. Reference to in Acts 1:23; 18:7; Colossians 4:11
- Linus, bishop of Rome. Reference to in 2 Timothy 4:21
- Lucius, bishop of Laodicea. Reference to in Acts 13:1; Romans 16:21
- Luke the Evangelist. He is the author of the Gospel of Luke, and the founder of Iconography (Orthodox Icon-writing). Reference to in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24
- Mark the Evangelist (called John). He wrote the Gospel of Mark. He also founded the Church of Alexandria, serving as its first bishop. Reference to in Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37-39; Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24; 1 Peter 5:13
- Narcissus, ordained by the Apostle Philip as bishop of Athens, Greece. Reference to in Romans 16:11
- Nicanor, one of the original seven deacons. He was martyred on the same day as the Promartyr Stephen. Reference to in Acts 6:5
- Olympas, beheaded with St. Peter under Nero. Reference to in Romans 16:15
- Onesimus. Onesimus preached the Gospel in many cities. He was made bishop of Ephesus, and later bishop of Byzantium (Constantinople). He was martyred under the Emperor Trajan. Reference to in Colossians 4:9; Philemon 10
- Onesiphorus, bishop of Colophon (Asia Minor), and later of Corinth. He died a martyr in Parium. Reference to in 2 Timothy 1:16; 4:19
- Parmenas, one of the original seven deacons. He preached throughout Asia Minor, and later settled in Macedonia. He was a bishop of Soli. He died a martyr in Macedonia. Reference to in Acts 6:5
- Patrobus, bishop of Neapolis (Naples). Reference to in Romans 16:14
- Philemon. He, with his wife Apphia, and the apostle Archippus, were martyred by pagans during a pagan feast. Reference to in Philemon 1
- Philip the Deacon (one of the original seven). He was born in Palestine, and later preached throughout its adjoining lands. In Acts, he converts a eunuch (an official) of Candace, queen of Ethiopia, to Christ. He was later made bishop by the apostles at Jerusalem, who also sent him to Asia Minor. Reference to in Acts 6; 8; 21:8
- Philologus, ordained bishop of Sinope (near the Black sea) by the Apostle Andrew. Reference to in Romans 16:15
- Phlegon, bishop of Marathon, in Thrace. Reference to in Romans 16:14
- Prochorus, one of the original seven deacons. He was made bishop of Nicomedia by St. Peter. He was later banished with the Apostle John (John the Theologian) to the Island of Patmos. In Antioch, he died a martyr. Reference to in Acts 6:5
- Pudens (Pastorum). He was an esteemed member of the Roman Senate, then received Sts. Peter and Paul into his home, and was converted to Christ by them. He was martyred under Nero. Reference to in Acts 6:5
- Quadratus, bishop of Athens. He was author of the Apologia. He was stoned, but survived. Soon-after, he died of starvation in prison.
- Quartus, bishop of Beirut. Reference to in Romans 16:23
- Rufus, bishop of Thebes, Greece. Reference to in Mark 15:21; Romans 16:13
- Silas (Silvanus), bishop of Corinth. Reference to in Acts 15:22-40; 16:19-40; 17:4-15; 18:5; 2 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Peter 5:12
- Simeon, son of Cleopas. "Simeon, son of Cleopas (who was the brother of Joseph, the betrothed of the Virgin Mary), succeeded James as bishop of Jerusalem." Orthodox Study Bible. He was martyred through torture and crucifixion, at the age of one-hundred. Reference to in Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3
- Sosipater, ordained bishop of Iconium by the Apostle Paul, his relative. With St. Jason, he converted the king of Corfu. Reference to in Romans 16:21
- Sosthenes. "… became bishop of Caesarea." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in 1 Corinthians 1:1
- Stachys, ordained by St. Andrew to be bishop of Byzantium. Reference to in Romans 16:9
- Stephen the Promartyr and Archdeacon (one of the original seven deacons). Reference to in Acts 6:5-7:60; 8:2 (Acts 6:5-8:2); 11:19; 22:20
- Tertius, bishop of Iconium (after Sosipater). He wrote down St. Paul's letter to the Romans. He died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:22
- Thaddaeus. He was baptized by John the Baptist (John the Forerunner). He later preached, and founded a Church in Beirut. Reference to in Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18
- Timon, one of the original seven deacons, and later bishop of Bostra (in Arabia). He was thrown into a furnace, but emerged unharmed. Reference to in Acts 6:5
- Timothy. He accompanied St. Paul often, and both 1 and 2 Timothy are addressed to him. He was ordained bishop of Ephesus by St. Paul. He died a martyr. Reference to in Acts 16:1; 17:14, 15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Romans 16:21; 1 and 2 Timothy
- Titus. "Among the more prominent of the seventy was the apostle Titus, whom Paul called his brother and his son. Born in Crete, Titus was educated in Greek philosophy, but after reading the prophet Isaiah he began to doubt the value of all he had been taught. Hearing the news of the coming of Jesus Christ, he joined some others from Crete who were going to Jerusalem to see for themselves. After hearing Jesus speak and seeing His works, the young Titus joined those who followed Him. Baptized by the apostle Paul, he worked with and served the great apostle of the gentiles, traveling with him until Paul sent him to Crete, making him bishop of that city. It is said that Titus was in Rome at the time of the beheading of St. Paul and that he buried the body of his spiritual father before returning home. Back in Crete, he converted and baptized many people, governing the Church on that island until he entered into rest at the age of ninety-four." Orthodox Study Bible Reference to in 2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:6-14; 8:6-23; 12:18; Galatians 2:1-3; Epistle to Titus
- Trophimus, disciple of St. Paul, and martyred under Nero. Reference to in Acts 20:4; 21:29; 2 Timothy 4:20
- Tychicus. "… succeeded him (Sosthenes, as bishop) in that city (of Caesarea)." Orthodox Study Bible. He delivered St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians and Colossians. Reference to in Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12
- Urbanus, ordained by the Apostle Andrew as bishop of Macedonia. He died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:9
- Zenas (called 'the lawyer'), bishop of Diospolis (Lydda), in Palestine. Reference to in Titus 3:13
- Alphaeus, father of the apostle James and Matthew.
- Apphia, wife to the Apostle Philemon. The Church had gathered in her home for liturgy, while pagans who had been celebrating a pagan feast broke in and raided her home. They took Apphia, Philemon, and Archippus to be killed. She suffered martyrdom, and is commemorated by the Church on February 19.
- Junia, accompanied Andronicus in preaching all over Pannonia. She was a relative to the Apostle Paul, and a martyr.
- Silvan, bishop of Thessaloniki, Greece. Reference to in 1 Peter 5:12; 2 Corinthians 1:19
- Zacchaeus, appointed by St.Peter to be bishop of Caesarea. Reference to in Luke 19:1-10
Cleopas, Alphaeus and Aramaic
(or Cleophas, Greek Κλεόπας) was a figure of early Christianity, one of the two disciples who encountered Jesus during the Road to Emmaus appearance in the Gospel of Luke 24:13-32. Some writers claim that the name Clopas in John 19 ("Mary of Clopas" Κλόπας) is a Hellenized form of a claimed Aramaic name Qlopha (קלופא), while Cleopas' name (Κλεόπας) is claimed to be an abbreviated form of "Cleopatros," which is claimed to be a "common" Hellenistic name meaning "son of a renowned father". However evidence for the male name Cleopatros (Κλεοπατρος) is unknown. Others consider that Clophas, Cleophas and Alphaeus are all the same name. There may have been two separate men named Alphaeus. Though both Matthew and James are described as being the "son of Alphaeus" there is no Biblical account of the two being called brothers, even in the same context where John and James or Peter and Andrew are described as being brothers. Alphaeus is traditionally identified with Clopas, based on the identification from parallel Gospel accounts of Mary, the mother of James the third woman with Mary Magdalene and Salome wife of Zebedee beside the cross in Matthew with Mary, the wife of Clopas, the third woman in John's account. The Catholic Encyclopedia suggest that etymologically, the names Clopas and Alphaeus are different, but that they could still be the same person. Other sources propose that Alphaeus, Clophas and Cleophas are variant attempts to render the Aramaic H in Aramaic Hilfai into Greek as aspirated, or K.
Junia the Apostle
Theophilus was the High Priest in the Second Temple in Jerusalem from AD 37 to 41 according to Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews. He was a member of one of the wealthiest and most influential Jewish families in Iudaea Province during the 1st century. A growing belief points to this person as the person to whom the Gospel of Luke is addressed.
Theophilus was the son of Annas and the brother of Eleazar, Jonathan, Matthias and Ananus, all of whom served as High Priests. He was also the brother-in-law of Joseph Caiaphas, the High Priest before whom Jesus appeared. In addition, his son Matthias served as the next to the last High Priest before the destruction of the Temple by the Romans. Archeological evidence confirming the existence of Theophilus, as an ossuary has been discovered bearing the inscription, "Johanna granddaughter of Theophilus, the High Priest".The details of this ossuary have been published in the Israel Exploration Journal. Therefore Theophilus had at least one other son named Jonathan, father to Johanna. Johanna appears twice in the New Testament in the Gospel of Luke. First as one of women healed by Jesus who travels with Jesus and the disciples to Jerusalem. Her second appearance also in the Gospel of Luke is on Easter Sunday when she and other women visits the empty tomb.
Joanna is a feminine given name deriving from Koine Greek Ἰωάννα Iōanna from Hebrew יוֹחָנָה Yôḥānnāh meaning 'God is gracious'. Variants in English include Joan, Joann, Joanne, and Johanna. Other forms of the name in English are Jan, Jane, Janet, Janice, Jean, and Jeanne.
The earliest recorded occurrence of the name Joanna, in Luke 8:3, refers to the disciple "Joanna the wife of Chuza," who was an associate of Mary Magdalene. Her name as given is Greek in form, although it ultimately originated from the Hebrew masculine name יְהוֹחָנָן Yehôḥānān or יוֹחָנָן Yôḥānān meaning 'God is gracious'. In Greek this name became Ιωαννης Iōannēs, from which Iōanna was derived by giving it a feminine ending. The original Latin form Joanna was used in English to translate the equivalents in other languages; for example, Juana la Loca is known in English as Joanna the Mad. The variant form Johanna originated in Latin in the Middle Ages, by analogy with the Latin masculine name Johannes. The Greek form lacks a medial -h- because in Greek /h/ could only occur initially.
The Hebrew name יוֹחָנָה Yôḥānnāh was borne by men in earlier centuries, but in modern usage it has become feminine, to provide a Hebrew equivalent for the name Joanna and its variants. The Christian Arabic form of John is يوحنّا Yūḥannā, based on the Syriac form of the name. For Joanna, Arabic translations of the Bible use يونّا Yuwannā based on Syriac ܝܘܚܢ
Yoanna, which in turn is based on the Greek form Iōanna.
Sometimes in modern English Joanna is reinterpreted as a compound of the two names Jo and Anna, and therefore given a spelling like JoAnna, Jo-Anna, or Jo Anna. However, the original name Joanna is a single unit, not a compound. The names Hannah, Anna, Anne, Ann are etymologically related to Joanna just the same: they are derived from Hebrew חַנָּה Ḥannāh 'grace' from the same verbal root meaning 'to be gracious'.
Joanna is a woman mentioned in the gospels who was healed by Jesus and later supported him and his disciples in their travels. She was the wife of Chuza, who managed the household of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. Her name means "Yahweh has been gracious." In the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions, she is a saint. She is considered some so-called biblical scholars as a disciple who later became an apostle. In the Bible, she is one of the women recorded in the Gospel of Luke as accompanying Jesus and the twelve: "Mary, called Magdalene,.. and Joanna the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources".
Some scholars believe that Joanna is the Aramaic name of Junia, who is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans and that her husband Chuza also used the Greek name Andronicus.
The Apostle Paul
wrote in Romans 16:7: "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me." The phrase translated "of note among the apostles" (KJV) can be read two ways, as illustrated by the two readings in the NIV; "outstanding among" (NIV main text) or "esteemed by" (NIV footnote). In this passage, Junia is seemingly described as "an Apostle" and this is how certain of the Church Fathers understood the text. Chrysostom wrote: "O how great is the devotion of this woman that she should be counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!"
It seems that Joanna, the grand-daughter of the High Priest, married into nobility when she married the steward of Herod. (She was the great-grand daughter of Annas, the High Priest Emeritus, who was behind the crucifixion of Jesus.) Then both she and her husband became followers of Jesus Christ and she became one of the "holy women" who followed Jesus. Later, she became a traveling missionary and when to Rome. If she died outside of the Holy Land, her body was brought back to Jerusalem for burial.
Books about Junia:
The Lost Apostle: Searching for the Truth About Junia by Rena Pederson
Junia: The First Woman Apostle by Eldon Jay Epp
Arthur Võõbus was the son of a teacher. In 1926, he completed his schooling at the Hugo Treffner Gymnasium in Tartu, then in 1932 his studies at the Theological Faculty of the University of Tartu. That same year he was ordained a priest. From 1933 to 1940 he was a pastor in the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tartu. Arthur Võõbus graduated as master of theology in 1934 with a thesis on "The true Christian, true Christian life and the true Christian church by Soren Kirkegaard". In parallel, Arthur Võõbus worked in libraries and manuscript collections in Rome, Paris, London, Berlin and Leipzig on theological texts in Syriac. His language skills were acquired at the university under Uku Masing.
In 1936 he married Ilse Luksep, a daughter of a wealthy merchant family, which, along with his job in a large parish, provided the material basis for his research. Towards the end of the 1930s Võõbus worked on the publication of Syriac texts. In 1940 he fled the Soviet occupation of Estonia to Germany. His dissident attitude led to the observation by the Gestapo. After the occupation of Estonia by German troops Võõbus returned to Estonia. His doctoral thesis in 1943 at the University of Tartu was concerned with monasticism in Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia before the 10th Century.
In 1944 Võõbus and his family fled a second time before the Soviet reoccupation of Estonia. From 1944 to 1948 he worked as a pastor in refugee camps, 1946–1948 he was professor of church history at the Baltic University at Pinneberg, near Hamburg. When this university was closed, he worked in London at the British Museum, from then until 1977 as professor of the New Testament and the ancient church history at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). Arthur Võõbus was a member of several scientific academies, including the Belgian Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Institute of Syrian Manuscript Studies, Chicago maintains the Professor Arthur Võõbus Collection of Syrian Manuscripts.
He is the author of The Communist Menace, the Present Chaos and Our Christian Responsibility 1957 and several works on Syriac Spirituality.
a pithy response to radical Islam to Bill O'Reilly
Thank you for speaking out against radical Islam.
I have been deployed twice to Iraq and have spent
a lot of time thinking of an effective way to combat
I know you are a simple man-so I have made this
as simple as possible.
The way to fight radical Islam is to define and
promote moderate Islam-
There are FOUR principles of Moderate Islam:
Moderate Islam believes-
1. No religious violence anywhere (not even Israel)
2. Sharia law is a personal lifestyle choice with no legal force-
anywhere on earth
3. In all countries-including majority Muslim countries-non-Muslim
should have equal rights with Muslims
4. Muslims have the right to leave Islam. Ex-Muslims should not
be put to death or face any punishment at all for leaving Islam.
Since certain beliefs that Muslims believe are leading to violence against
non-Muslims-non-Muslims have the right to challenge such beliefs and
have the right to say what moderation is-and to demand it.
This is the way forward and the way to peace.
Please think about it-and if you agree, help us promote peace by
speaking out on the basis of the four principles of moderate Islam.
No Pleasing GOP Critics by Chris Stirewalt
Remember how it was Republicans' obsessive focus on social issues that was going to doom the party? Between 2008 and well into the aftermath of the party's 2012 defeat, the culprit behind the party's problems was said again and again to be social issues.
All that opposition to abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration spelled doom, doom, doom for the minority party. If only Republicans would focus on fiscal issues, the economy, problems with ObamaCare and be more libertarian in their approach, the horrible demographic slide dooming the GOP with young voters and minority groups might be reversed.
Well, that's almost exactly what Republicans are doing now, and guess what? That also means doom, doom, doom!
On paper, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, should be exactly what the most potent purveyors of conventional wisdom were saying Republicans needed to do after the party's galling 2012 loss. He is Hispanic, and the son of an immigrant. He is an Ivy Leaguer with a love of policy minutiae. He is rarely heard discussing social issues and is instead forever talking about federal spending and ObamaCare. He embraces the non-interventionist foreign policy approach popular with young voters and previously with Obama Democrats. He is only 42 years old and fights the old guard and money men in his party.
Perfect, right? The same New York Times that wrote dozens of articles warning of the danger of social issues in the GOP during and after the 2012 cycle must think the nuevo libertarianism of the GOP is a sign of progress. Well, no. Not really.
Cruz is too pushy. Too uncompromising. Too obsessed with ObamaCare. Too, well, conservative.
The answer is that whatever conservatives do, non-conservatives will say they're doing it wrong. The cycle runs thusly: An establishment press outlet finds a Republican talking about what the establishment says is wrong (e.g. Rick Santorum's marathon stretch of MSNBC appearances during the dwindling days of the 2012 GOP primaries) and then brings on a moderate Republican to deplore what was just said. "Why are Republicans talking so much about _____?" asks the anchor. Well, maybe to get on your network.
Whatever conservatives do, they will find Republicans or former Republicans who will say that it is a disaster. Sometimes they suss out single-issue Republican gainsayers, but other times turn to the all purpose Cassandras of conservatism. There is always a David Frum or a Colin Powell or a John Weaver available to say that whatever the Republicans are talking about is wrong. Not that Republicans listen to them anymore, but it does keeps the Town Cars rolling up Wisconsin Ave. to MSNBC and wins lots of approving nods at the Aspen Institute or wherever Bill Clinton is toasting Warren Buffet with a glass of crisp Gewürztraminer this week
That's not to say that those folks aren't sincere. If one believes, as President Obama does, that the country very much needs a permanent, loyal opposition that will haggle with liberals over the management of a European-style system, then the prescription for a Huntsmanian Republican Party would be not just be practical, but also patriotic. That, however, is an ideological chasm that can't be boiled down to talking points. Liberal Republicans disagree wholly with the substance of conservatism, so they are not very reliable arbiters of how conservatives should talk about their movement. Vegans make poor steakhouse chefs.
Of course neither does it mean that they are always wrong, which would be an equally disastrous conclusion for Republicans to reach. Tone matters, very much. In politics, tone matters much more than policy. By hewing close to focus-group-approved lines and using cool, non-confrontational language, Obama managed to get elected despite a number of start policy disagreements with voters. He did not change what he believed. He changed how he talked about what he believed, and did so in a way to invite confidence and calm voters.
That is the lesson for conservatives, not the belief that somehow the right policy mix will deliver the approval of those who think that what Republicans really ought to be are Democrats.
Also, Check out this article:
Let's stop the false arguments, vicious name calling over Tea Party plan to defund ObamaCare
Published October 10, 2013
Vandals damage graves in Jerusalem, in latest attack against Christians
Published October 09, 2013
Christian leaders in Israel are up in arms over what they say is a string of relentless attacks on church properties and religious sites — most recently the desecration of a historic Protestant cemetery where vandals toppled stone crosses from graves and bludgeoned them to pieces. The attack in the Protestant Cemetery of Mount Zion, one of Jerusalem's most important historic graveyards, has struck a particularly sensitive nerve because some of the damaged graves belong to famous figures from the 19th and 20th centuries, a key period in Jerusalem's history. Among them are a German diplomat, the founder of an orphanage who was a significant contributor to modernizing the city, and a relative of the owners of a prominent hotel.Though members of the clergy say interfaith relations between top religious leaders have never been stronger, and police have been more responsive to such attacks in recent years, they say attacks continue unabated. Some activists say not enough is being done to stop them."We are striving so hard to promote dignity and respect among the living. And here we have our dead people ... vandalized," said the Very Rev. Hosam Naoum, caretaker of the Protestant cemetery. "No human would agree with this."Police arrested four young Israeli settlers from the West Bank last week, two of them minors, in connection with the cemetery attack, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. But Rosenfeld said the four were subsequently released without charge until further questioning.Two of the suspects had been banned from entering the West Bank because of their connections to the "hilltop youth," a movement of young Jewish extremists blamed for a spate of attacks in recent years on mosques, Christian sites and Israeli army property to protest government policy.The four suspects claimed they had entered the cemetery to immerse themselves in a ritual bath there, according to media reports. Rosenfeld could not immediately confirm the reports, and the record of the court session was sealed because minors were involved.Naoum said the reported alibi was suspect. An ancient Jewish ritual bath was excavated on the premises but it contains no water, and an old well nearby has a narrow opening and would be dangerous to enter, he said.Naoum said his staff saw religious Jewish youths breaking into the cemetery again on Tuesday and Wednesday, though no damage was reported. Israeli media have said two of the original suspects were students at a nearby Jewish seminary known for its ultranationalist views.Naoum said he is reporting the events to the German and British embassies, which have representatives on the cemetery administration board, as well as to the Archbishop of Canterbury.The attack joins a list of high-profile Christian sites that have been vandalized within the past year. They include a Trappist monastery in Latrun, outside Jerusalem, where vandals burned a door and spray-painted "Jesus is a monkey" on the century-old building, a Baptist church in Jerusalem, and other monasteries. Clergymen often speak of being spat at by ultra-Orthodox religious students while walking around Jerusalem's Old City wearing frocks and crosses.Christian citizens of Israel, including Roman Catholic and Orthodox streams of Christianity, make up less than 2 percent of its nearly 8 million people. About three-quarters of them are Arabs, and the others arrived during a wave of immigration from former Soviet Union countries that began 20 years ago. Tens of thousands of Christian foreign workers and African migrants also live in Israel.Over the past three years, 17 Christian sites in the Holy Land have been reported vandalized, according to Search for Common Ground, a nongovernmental group that monitors press reports of attacks on religious sites.Researcher Kevin Merkelz said a police detective in charge of Christian affairs told the organization the numbers are actually higher, but Christian leaders chose not to report many attacks to the press."The Christians who are still here want to keep a low profile when attacked," said Merkelz. He said the group does not include sites in the politically sensitive Old City of Jerusalem in its survey, because many sites are in dispute and the group does not want to be seen as taking sides.
Christian leaders are often afraid to complain to police because many clergymen reside in Israel on special visas and wish to keep good relations with authorities, said Hana Bendcowsky of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations. "There is a very strong feeling that the police are not doing enough ... and not doing work to prevent the phenomenon," she said.
Rosenfeld, the police spokesman, said Israeli police recently set up a task force to combat "nationalistic" motivated crimes, and last week arrested 14 youths in connection with attacks on Arabs.
He said police are carrying out more patrols around holy sites and are considering installing security cameras to protect them. He also claimed the numbers of attacks against Christian sites remains relatively low.
"There is more awareness that holy areas have to be watched closer and protected better," Rosenfeld said.
The Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, one of the Roman Catholic church's top officials in the Holy Land, said such attacks "have become routine and target not only Christians. They're conducted by extremists and go against the spirit of tolerance. But it's also true that they're strongly condemned by the Jewish community, by people opposed to them."
Naoum, the cemetery caretaker, said a group of 150 Jewish religious figures will be paying a solidarity visit to the cemetery this week.
In the oldest section of the Protestant Cemetery of Mount Zion, just outside the walls of Jerusalem's ancient Old City, the tops of large stone monuments, many written in German, were bare, and the stone crosses that used to top them lay broken into a few pieces.
Graves damaged belong to a British Mandate policeman and important figureheads in the city.
The most notable of them is Johann Ludwig Schneller, founder of an orphanage and the most advanced printing press in 19th century Jerusalem. Also damaged was the grave of Edmund Schmidt, the German consul general at the beginning of the 20th century. The grave of Ferdinand Vester, who built the house where a branch of the U.S. Consulate General to Jerusalem is located today and who was related to the founders of the storied American Colony Hotel, was also damaged.
The cemetery is "a microcosm of Jerusalem history from the 1830s till the present," said Amnon Ramon, an expert on Christianity at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.
Curiously, it is not the first time the Protestant cemetery has been attacked. About 100 years ago, the American consul to Jerusalem dug up graves in the cemetery belonging to members of the American Colony, a group of devout Christians from the U.S. whom the consul believed were involved in cult-like activities, said Israeli researcher Nirit Shalev-Khalifa. The group's home later became the American Colony Hotel.
There has always been a religious fight surrounding cemeteries in Jerusalem, Shalev-Khalifa said.
"This is a battle over the celestial Jerusalem," she said. "You can deal with the living, but sometimes it's easier to deal with the dead."