Description : “Astonishing, delightful, and theologically sophisticated.” —Marvin Meyer, Griset Professor of Religious Studies, Chapman University Theologian Brent Landau presents the ancient account of Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, the three “wise men” who journeyed to Bethlehem to greet the birth of Jesus. The Revelation of the Magi offers the first-ever English translation of an ancient Syriac manuscript written in the second to third century after the birth of Christ and safeguarded for generations in the Vatican Library. Following in the footsteps of Elaine Pagels and her exploration of the Gnostic Gospels, including the controversial Gospel of Judas, Landau delivers an invaluable source of information to a world interested in learning more about the Nativity and the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Description : North American study of the Christian Apocrypha is known principally for its interest in using noncanonical texts to reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus, and for its support of Walter Bauer's theory on the development of early Christianity. The papers in this volume, presented in September 2013 at York University in Toronto, challenge that simplistic assessment by demonstrating that U.S. and Canadian scholarship on the Christian Apocrypha is rich and diverse. The topics covered in the papers include new developments in the study of canon formation, the interplay of Christian Apocrypha and texts from the Nag Hammadi library, digital humanities resources for reconstructing apocryphal texts, and the value of studying late-antique apocrypha. Among the highlights of the collection are papers from a panel by three celebrated New Testament scholars reassessing the significance of the Christian Apocrypha for the study of the historical Jesus. Forbidden Texts on the Western Frontier demonstrates the depth and breadth of Christian Apocrypha studies in North America and offers a glimpse at the achievements that lie ahead in the field.
Description : Was there a meaningful stellar sign over Bethlehem? What did it look like to someone looking up at the night sky? Was the star a visual guide or a simply sign? Did wise men really come from the East seeking Israel’s Messiah sometime after the birth of Jesus? The biblical account of the wise men and the star that announced the coming of the Messiah of Israel has inspired and puzzled people for two millennia. Important aspects of Babylonian astronomy seem to be involved in understanding the star’s appearing. But in addition, The Lion Led the Way also explores the men and events from a profoundly Jewish perspective. The traditional Jewish names of stars and planets, Jewish symbols, as well as Jewish dates, all seem to be keys to unlocking the mystery of the famous star. The star of Bethlehem was not the brightest of the heavenly lights, nor was it the most spectacular starry manifestation of all time. However, it was part of the most meaningful set of celestial events in human history. The God of Israel is surprising. His ways are not our ways; his thoughts are not our thoughts. The star gives us a concrete example of God’s intervention in the universe. Who were the biblical Magi? Various wise men were important in the history of the vast region to the east of Judaea. Zoroastrian, Babylonian, Greek and even Jewish wise men all played a role there in several successive empires. A possible Jewish connection with the story of the biblical wise men has been long neglected. The Magi who arrived in Bethlehem seem to have been influenced by Judaism. They apparently understood at least part of the meaning of Daniel’s sixth-century BC prophecy concerning the 70 “sevens.” The prophecy has to do with time. The Babylonian astronomers were uniquely qualified to perceive the connection between time and the heavens. Based on their knowledge and the ancient biblical texts, they saw how the “sevens” were related to the birth of the Messiah. The Magi were seeking God’s kingdom centered on the Messiah, the Righteous One. Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem, is still making himself known. His ways are as mysterious as ever, and his humility is unsurpassed. The third edition of The Lion Led the Way contains about 45 pages of new material. Book website: www.star-of-bethlehem.info
Description : "Part I begins with a scriptural study of all Sheba references, and explores literature and legends, theories and links, and related stories from a multitude of regions and countries. Part II scrutinizes associations between ancient gods and pharaohs, and the meaning of their symbols and signs that connect with the real extent and location of her vast empire"--Provided by publisher.
Description : If you were God, writing a book you wanted men to understand, would you write it in such a way that men would have to make up meaning in order to understand it, or would you write it in such a way that those that seek to understand could actually come to a knowledge of its truth (Mt 7:7)? The present commentary takes the position that God wrote Revelation such that with sufficient effort and intellectual honesty, readers can understand it. Certainly God uses symbols in Revelation, but when He does, He provides inspired interpretations of the symbols. This commentary seeks to avoid the mistakes of the views that use the symbolical approach to Revelation (preterist, continuous historical, spiritualist, and idealist). These approaches suffer from two basic flaws: assuming the text is symbolical when it is not and making up meaning regarding the text based on stream of consciousness word association, much as one would do looking at Rorschach inkblots. This commentary seeks to avoid telling God what He should have said and strives to understand what God actually meant.Of all the existing approaches to understanding Revelation, this commentary is most closely aligned with the dispensationalist (premillennialist/Left Behind) view in that it views Revelation from a literalist perspective. It is different from the typical dispensationalist schema in that it views the seven seals as the powers of the Lamb, understands the exercise of the powers of the seven seals to be simultaneous processes, and casts chapters 8-22 as three parallel prophecies of the Lamb's power over the course of the histories of Israel, the nations, and the saints. This commentary also makes use of many of the non-canonical works that provide insight into the spirit world and detail regarding the end of the present age.
Description : We all live in a world where virtually every spiritual struggle is practically beyond our control. While some of us will die instantly without the opportunity to consciously sense death beforehand, others on the other hand will have the opportunity to know well in advance that death is around the corner. Regardless of which group you eventually find yourself, the truth is that every life on earth will one day without notice suddenly come to an end followed by a swift judgment with no excuses whatsoever. Do you know your final destination? When the disciples asked Jesus about the End of the Age, he said to them, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36. But in this book and for the first time in human history, Jesus discloses a unique breathtaking code in the Language of Heaven that reveals the only clue to the End of the Age. God’s spiritual principle of life for humanity on earth is, “All about Him” because He wants us to make Him the priority of our lives. But on judgment day, when you appear before Jesus Christ, that will all change because God’s spiritual principle of life for humanity will become, “All about you”. You either have Jesus Christ to enter God’s Paradise in Heaven or you don’t. What makes your life a supernatural success is where you effectively go from this world; not where you came from or what you did on earth at the expense of salvation. No eyes have ever seen, no ears have ever heard, and no human mind can fathom what God is about to unleash on earth through the second coming of His son. This book will give you all the supernatural Biblical spiritual details you need to prepare yourself for what the Bible described as “The Final Hour.” The time is at hand; Jesus loves you. This book is Volume 3 of “Face to Face Meetings with Jesus Christ”. Apart from him, we can do nothing.
Description : Sufism formed one of the cultures of resistance which has existed in the social fabric of Persia since antiquity. Such resistance continues to manifest itself today with many looking to Sufism as a model of cooperation between East and West, between traditional and modern. 'Sufism in the Secret History of Persia' explores the place of Sufi mysticism in Iran's intellectual and spiritual consciousness through traditional and contemporary Sufi thinkers and writers. Sufism in the Secret History of Persia examines the current of spirituality which extends from the old Iranian worship of Mithra to modern Islam. This current always contains elements of gnosis and inner knowing, but has often provided impetus for socio-political resistance. The study describes how these persisting pre-Islamic cultural and socio-religious elements have secretly challenged Muslim orthodoxies and continue to shape the nature and orientation of contemporary Sufism.