Aramaic Christian Ministries
Hello and welcome to this edition of the Aramaic Herald Newsletter.
In this edition I will introduce some new projects that I am working on.
I am founding a non-profit organization called "Aramaic Christians Ministries."
The goal of this organization is to research the history of Syriac Heritage Christianity with a focus on the Assyrian Church of the East. Also, we will teach scriptural study using Aramaic sources such as the Syriac Peshitta and other Syriac commentaries.
(The Assyrians use Syriac, a form of Aramaic very similar to the Aramaic spoken by Jesus Christ as their liturgical language. Many Assyrians speak Modern Assyrian, which is classified by most linguists as a modern form of Aramaic.)
I also want to help rescue Christians of the Middle East. The goal is mainly to create awareness, especially among American Christians. Also, we will explore ways to provide assistance to Assyrian Christians in need. Lastly, we hope to preserve and restore the great legacy of Assyrian Christianity.
This year I started my doctoral program. I am attending Houston Graduate School of Theology. The equivalent of a thesis in my program will be a project, in which I implement an educational program about the Assyrian and Aramaic Christian heritage.
The project will be entitled "FACILITATING INTERACTION BETWEEN THE ARAMAIC ASSYRIAN CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY AND EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS FOR SUSTAINMENT AND RENEWAL."
The program will be open to the public. Classes on Aramaic and on the Assyrian Christian heritage will be offered. These educational programs will be developed in cooperation with the local Assyrian community. A conference on the persecution of Assyrians and other Middle Eastern Christian groups will also be offered. In the course of research, meetings will be held with Assyrian Church leaders and local Evangelical churches. Assyrian leaders will be in order to discover from them their needs and the researcher will work them to develop strategies to help the Assyrian Christians and to help preserve the Aramaic language and Assyrian culture. Part of the project will include engaging Christian leaders and Christian media to tell the story of the Assyrians and developing strategies to aide Assyrian refugees. Also, ways to make the Aramaic Christian heritage more accessible will be explored. One question to be addressed is whether it is possible to develop user-friendly materials to make traditional Syriac Bible studies and Syriac spirituality more accessible to Evangelical Christians and the general American public. In the course of the projects, presentations about the Assyrian people, relations between Islam and Christianity, and religious persecution will be offered to Evangelical churches. The ultimate goal is to increase the awareness of the plight of the Assyrian Christians and develop strategies to help the community.
I am looking into financial support to pay for the doctoral program. Please, pray for me, that God will provide my needs, that the program will be implemented effectively and that it would be successful. If you would like additional information, please contact Stephen Andrew Missick (see below).
Voice of the Word
I have began a new teaching series. They will be available on DVD. The first episode is "Voice of the Word: De-Coding the Language of Jesus." I may do additional episodes. I would like to do twelve episodes of the program and develop a "Voice of the Word" radio program.
This is the 170th edition of the "Aramaic Herald" newsletter. Almost all of the newsletters are up on the blog: www.aramaicherald.blogspot.com. I also have another newsletter I have started called "Miltha" in which I focus more on the research I am pursuing in the process of my doctoral program.
This year is drawing to a close. In 2013, I made my mission trip to India. I preached a lot in Hyderabad, India. Christianity is the third largest in India and of course has a long history, which according to tradition goes back to St. Thomas. Christianity is large and thriving in India. India is first, Hindu, then Muslim and thirdly Christians. There are more Christians in India than Buddhists, Zoroasterians, and Jains.
I also started on my doctoral program this year. The first session was May 15-October 15. I have now started the second session.
I went to the Assyrian Convention this year and had productive visits with Jan Magiera of Light of the Word Ministries, Father Bazzi, Nicholas Al-Jeloo and others.
I have been working with the Assyrian community, in both the Middle East and the United States for almost twenty years. Also, I have written articles on the history of the Assyrian Church of the East and some books as well on the Assyrian Christian heritage.
I am working through the Diatesseron of Tatian the Assyrian for our Saturday morning Bible study at our church in Cleveland.
In our prison ministry, I am teaching through a Bible study based on an English translation of the Syriac Peshitta version of the Gospel of Mark at the prison in Livingston, Texas.
This year I finished writing four books:
The Baal Cycle: This book is about Canaanite mythology. I wrote this as part of my study of Biblical backgrounds. The Baal Cycle features about fifty drawing illustrating the myths. In the Old Testament, the worship of Baal is the major threat to the people of Yahweh. Due to important archeological discoveries in the ruins of the ancient Canaanite city-state of Ugarit, we now know more about what the Canaanites believe.
The Quest for the Historical Moses: This book is about what we know about the Exodus from sources outside the Bible. I would say not much. But we do know a lot. What we don't know is exactly when the Exodus occurred-sometime between 1440 and 1207-with the 1200s being the most likely date.
The Hanukkah Comic and Coloring Book This is a comic book I wrote and illustrated telling the story of 1 and 2 Maccabees. It is the story of Judas Maccabaeus and his battle for religious liberty.
The Four Principles of Moderate Islam I am tired of watching violence being carried out by Muslims against Assyrian and Coptic Christians. How do we put a stop to it? Sometimes it is necessary to meet violence with violence. However, it is important to explore peaceful options. I believe we should do this by defining what Moderate Islam is. In Moderate Islam there is:
1. No Jihad-a renunciation of religious violence
2. Sharia Law has no legal force-and is merely a personal lifestyle choice
3. Non-Muslims and Muslims are equal citizens everywhere on earth
4. No ex-Muslim should be punished or put to death.
I also have other projects in development
The Restoration of the Lost Ark, The Clan, Richard Wagner's Jesus of Nazareth, A Chaplain's Story, Christians under Islam, What Every Christian Needs to Know About Islam, Moses: The Shepherd of his People, Saint Thomas in India, The Seven Signs, Hanukkah 2.
Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, Misreading the Scriptures through Jewish Eyes, Babylon Religion Uncovered, The Assyrian Christian Heritage, Rabbouni: The Way of the Master, the Exodus Narrative, The Ring of King Solomon, The Lords of the Netherworld, The Semitic Roots of the Early Church Fathers, and Christ the Man 2.
I have an article on Saint Isaac of Nineveh another on the Mandaeans that I need to touch up.
About Stephen Missick
Reverend Stephen Andrew Missick is the author of The Assyrian Church in the Mongol Empire, Mar Thoma: The Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church in India, and Socotra: The Mysterious Island of the Church of the East which were published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (Volume XIII, No. 2, 1999, Volume XIV, No. 2, 2000 and Volume XVI No. 1, 2002). (See www.jaas.org.) He is the author of The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity, The Secret of Jabez, Saint Thaddeus and the King of Assyria, The Ascents of James: A Lost Acts of the Apostles, The Hammer of God: The Stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel, The Ennead: The Story of Osiris the Vindicator, the Beloved Enchantress Isis and Horus the Avenger and Christ the Man. He is an ordained minister of the gospel. He graduated from Sam Houston State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rev. Missick has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and has lived among the Coptic Christians in Egypt and Aramaic Christians in Syria. He also served as a soldier in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2004. While serving as a soldier in Iraq he learned Aramaic from native Aramaic-speaking Iraqi Assyrian Christians. Rev. Missick is the writer and illustrator of the comic book "The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People," the comic strip Chronicles: Facts from the Bible and the comic book series The Hammer of God which are available from www.comixpress.com. The Hammer of God comic book series dramatizes the stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel. He has also served as a chaplain in the Army National Guard in Iraq during his second deployment in 2009 and 2010. He participated in an archeological excavation of Bethsaida in Galilee in 2011 and went on a missionary trip to Uganda in 2012 and India in 2013.
Stephen Andrew Missick is available to teach in your church. Topics include the Semitic roots of Christianity, Insight from the Aramaic language of Jesus, Islam and Christianity and much more. Invite him for a weekend and add a seminar or a Bible teaching of your choice. Please contact our office at 2228 FM 1725, Cleveland, Texas 77328 or PO Box 882, Shepherd, Texas, 77371 Or call (281) 592-4101 to invite Stephen to your church.
See also: www.youtube.com/aramaic12 or www.aramaicherald.blogspot.com
Complete Works of Stephen Andrew Missick
(Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies www.jaas.org)
The Assyrian Church in the Mongol Empire, Mar Thoma: The Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church in India, and Socotra: The Mysterious Island of the Church of the East which were published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (Volume XIII, No. 2, 1999, Volume XIV, No. 2, 2000 and Volume XVI No. 1, 2002).
The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity (Xulon Press, 2006)
Mary of Magdala: Magdalene, the Forgotten Aramaic Prophetess of Christianity (Xlibris, 2006)
Treasures of the Language of Jesus: The Aramaic Source of Christ's Teaching (Xlibris, 2006)
Aramaic: The Language of Jesus of Nazareth (Xlibris, 2008)
Christ the Man (Xulon Press)
The Hammer of God: The Stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel (Xulon Press, 2010) ( Charles Martel: The Hammer of God and Judas Maccabeus: The Hammer of God (Createspace 2011) are also available.
The Ascents of James: A Lost Acts of the Apostles (Create Space 2010)
The Second Adam and the Restoration of All Things (Create Space 2010)
Saint Thaddeus and the King of Assyria: The Aramaic Origins of Christianity (Create Space 2010)
A Soldier in Iraq (Createspace 2011)
The Lord's Prayer in the Original Aramaic (Createspace 2011)
Jesus the Poet (Createspace 2011)
The Ennead and The Art of the Ennead (Createspace 2011)
The Secret of Jabez (2011)
The 613 Commandments (2011)
The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People (Createspace 2011)
The Epic of Baal and The Baal Cycle (2012, 2013)
Chronicles: Facts from the Bible (2013)
The Quest for the Historical Moses (2013)
Hanukkah Comic and Coloring Book (2013)
The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People
The Hammer of God Character and Historical Reference
The Hammer of God Coloring Book
The Hammer of God Mini-comic
Chronicles: Facts from the Bible
The Seventh Sign
Crossover Program: Iraqi Christians in Crisis
Crossover Program: The Armenian Holocaust
Crossover Program: Hanukkah and the Hammer of God
Voice of the Word: De-coding the Language of Jesus