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The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English by Martin G., Jr. Abegg, Peter Flint, Eugene Ulrich

From the dramatic find in the caves of Qumran, the world’s most ancient version of the Bible allows us to read the scriptures as they were in the time of Jesus.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English is the first full English translation of the Hebrew scriptures used by the Essene sect at Qumran. (The Essenes, along with the Pharisees and Saducees, were among the three most influential Jewish groups of their time [150 B.C. to 68 A.D.]). Between 1947 and 1956, in 11 caves overlooking the Dead Sea, more than 800 manuscripts of two types were found. The first are called “biblical”–because they contain material that was later canonized in the Hebrew Bible; the second are called “non-Biblical”–because they contain poetry, rules for holy living, and imaginative, midrashic interpretations that are unique to the community that produced them.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible comprises the biblical manuscripts, including many new Psalms, Apocryphal books, and previously unknown readings of Deuteronomy and Isaiah (which appear to have been among the most important books of the Bible to this group of Essenes). The translation of each book is preceded by an introduction that describes the text’s importance to the Essenes, their distinctive interpretations of the text, and suggestions of how historical and political events may have shaped these interpretations. Translators Martin Abegg Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich have loaded this volume with scholarly notes and commentary, but their interpretations are formatted in a way that does not impede the general reader’s enjoyment of the book. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible breathes new life into scripture by delving into the earliest source material yet discovered. It is a crucial work to reckon with for anyone interested in Jewish life around the time of Jesus. –Michael Joseph Gross

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An intriguing read, to say the least. Mostly biblical and upholding the contents of the bible as we know it, some things contrary to the writings we have learned from books not canonized into the bible as we know it, and others not seen before, which need to be studied. Some of what I read upheld much of the existing scripture and some other things were but commentary on what was written. Majority of what was captured was fragmentary at best. Oh, but what a discovery it was! Unless you are a great student of the bible and archaeological finds…this may, or may not, be a good book for you. You need to be a die-hard student. The writing is quite fragmentary and requires much in the way of assumptions.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Revelation Unveiled: Understanding the Heart of Jesus in the Imminent Day of the Lord Kindle Edition by Russell M. Stendal

revelationunveiled

Sadly, many commentaries on Revelation ignore the need to have a clean heart in order to survive what’s coming. In this edition, we dig deep into the signs, the wonders, and the genuine Christian’s role in the soon-to-be-fulfilled book of Revelation. We even go back to the prophets to help clarify what is the most important message to Christians today.

The book of Revelation should be of intense interest to today’s Christian. It describes not only the persecution that originates from Satan, but also announces the day when God will intervene and cleanse the earth. This is definitely something to look forward to if we are right with him. Not so much for those living for themselves.

This is but one resource to allow the one who studies biblical revelation to gain some answers into the meanings of this biblical book of finality and a new beginning. Well written interestingly equipped with much background; however, I also felt the appendices were lacking. But do not let that detract from the wealth of knowledge that could be gained by the remainder of the book. You must judge for yourself.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Life in the Ancient World

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We look back on the Biblical world as a time of fateful battles, inspiring prophets, great empires and profound learning. Unfortunately, this picture is often skewed to highlight regal, rather than common, history. More of our modern philosophy and theology grew out of the ancient agora than the palace. Many profound thinkers and religious visionaries in the ancient world never interacted with kings or fought in great battles. How does archaeology tell their story?

By examining ancient societal structure, crafts and daily practices, we can reconstruct the lives of common people to better understand the world of the Bible and breathe new reality into the ancient world we are trying to understand. This eBook features articles from Biblical Archaeology Review describing industry in Second Temple period Jerusalem and household structure in ancient Israel along with a collection of brief and lively accounts from Archaeology Odyssey describing standard practices across the ancient Mediterranean, from table manners to construction cranes, and from fashion and makeup to the Roman postal service.

If Jerusalem is famous for one thing, it is for being a religious center. But our interest in the Holy City lies also in its everyday life, of which so little is known. Recent investigations revealed that in ancient times, especially in the late Second Temple period (50 B.C.–70 A.D.), various arts and crafts, such as stonework, painted pottery and glass industry, flourished in Jerusalem. In 1983, the Israeli authorities opened to the public a building that had been closed for 1,913 years to the day. The building, in ancient Jerusalem’s Upper City, was a workshop that was stormed by Roman soldiers in 70 A.D., the year the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Jewish Temple. In “Jerusalem Flourishing—A Craft Center for Stone, Pottery, and Glass,” eminent Israeli archaeologist Nahman Avigad describes what his excavations in the Upper City teach us about Jerusalem as an ancient craft center.

An interesting look into the ancient life of a people two centuries ago. An eye opening event in and of itself.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Life and Times of Jesus: From His Earthly Beginnings to the Sermon on the Mount (Part I) by Michael J. Ruszala

The Life and Times of Jesus

To write a book about Jesus is a challenging task; to live a life like Jesus’ is more challenging still.

Though not primarily a work of theology or of spirituality, this popular history intends to help the words and deeds of Jesus come alive for contemporary readers.
I found this book rather fascinating, in that, it took snapshots of the life of Jesus, up to His Sermon on the Mount, and explained in a generalized manner. I found it to be very good and informative. I thought it worth the time to read and the time to ponder over.
Godspeed & Good Reads!
Doc Murf

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The Journey: Living by Faith in an Uncertain World by Billy Graham

the Journey

Billy Graham is respected and loved around the world. And this work is his magnum opus, the culmination of a lifetime of experience and ministry!

Chapter by chapter, Graham leads us on a journey in faith. We learn about God and his purpose for our lives; who Jesus is and what he has done for us. We are reminded of the things God has given us to live successfully: the Bible, the privilege of prayer, fellowship and the church, and the Holy Spirit. We learn to deal with challenges along the way: temptation; wrong thoughts and motives; emotions that can defeat us; habits that destroy our spirit, and what to do when life turns against us. And we are given practical advice on knowing God’s will, making right decision, strengthening our marriages, being wise parents, and using our gifts to share Christ with others.

With insight that only comes from a life spent with God, The Journey is filled with wisdom, encouragement, hope, and inspiration for anyone who wants to live a happier, more fulfilling life.

I have not read very much by Billy Graham, but this was one of the best written guides into one’s faith and following. I was enamored with his guidance and backing everything up with biblical scripture. This should be a primer for anyone, young or old, new or tenured, in the faith of Christianity!

This is a must read book! Of course, in my humble opinion!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Who Is Jesus?: Linking the Historical Jesus with the Christ of Faith by Darrell L Bock

BockWhoisJesus

IS JESUS WHO HE SAID HE WAS? Some say he was just a man; others claim he was the Son of God. Historian Darrell Bock tests the authenticity of Jesus’ claims against the rules of history to find out if he truly is the Christ of Faith.

This reader-friendly book examines twelve events, sayings, and teachings of Jesus, using ten well-accepted historical rules. Pull up a chair, engage in the conversation, and discover how fascinating the discussion of the historical Jesus can be.

This was quite the easy read at only 214 pages. The overcoming of objections with reason and with historical data and writings of others who brought many things into the cultural context that was needed in order for anyone, including those who are apologetically & evangelically minded. We each, as followers of the Christ have an obligation to strengthen our faith through reason and historically based research. It is through this method that we can be better prepared to “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

 

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New World Order by A. Ralph Epperson

NWO

This book by A. Ralph Epperson purports to uncover hidden and sinister meanings behind all the symbols found on the Great Seal of the United States, committing America to “A Secret Destiny.

I found it rather interesting that so many things, as well as groups, came into play. Call it conspiracy theory, if you choose, but keep in mind that this is what is spelled out, to some degree, within the book of Revelation of the Bible. The only time people use the term “Conspiracy Theory,” or “Conspiracy Theorist” is when they (the speaker) desires to denigrate and assassinate the character of the person who is speaking of an alternate theory of any given situation! Be ever-so vigilant! Be leery of those forcing a thought down your throat that YOU know in your heart to be untrue. As the Bible tells us,

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~1 John 4:1

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Raise Your Line by Robert Stevenson

raise-your-line

Raise Your Line is a must read for anyone who wants to succeed in today s competitive business world. This book is filled with information to help employees, business owners, leaders, and managers who are looking for better ways to move forward and progress towards a more successful future. In this book, Mr. Stevenson walks readers step by step, through how to improve their business performance, leadership skills, and reach their career goals. Mr. Stevenson gives countless practical and thought provoking insights on how to succeed in this highly competitive business environment. Throughout his book, he emphasizes points which are extremely important to success, by placing them in a box entitled LINE RAISER (there are over 100 of them in the book). So, by simply scanning through the pages, you will easily find countless ways to improve. Not only does he identify and explain the things readers should work on improving, he then tells them how. Success in business is depicted by a rising line on a financial chart; the higher that line rises, the greater the success. In this book Mr. Stevenson expands on that simple concept, explaining that all personal and business decisions should be based on the eventual outcome of making your profit line and personal success line, rise. He explains in the book that people need to start thinking of their life and business as a flat line, a line that stays flat, unless they do something to make it rise. The book is divided into 4 sections that address having the right mindset for raising your line, and then how to raise your line as a leader, company and personally. The 53 chapters and 248 pages are filled with information designed to help make YOUR LINE RISE both professionally and personally.

While this book was both entertaining and a fast read, it was full of many simplistic ideas in order to better yourself in whatever you strive for. They say, “repetition is the mother of skill!”  Well, you will be hit between the eyes with a great many things that you have heard over the years. Problem being, that even though we hear them, we may even be listening to them…but do we apply them to our lives??? That is the question! We must strive to apply these steps in order to better ourselves; after all, we each do not know it all! We, at times, must try something new.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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babyboom

Left, Right, & Babyboom is a short collections of essays written by people in politics from all sides of the Nolan Chart. This book was composed and edited in 1986, by David Boaz, one of the leaders of the Cato Institute, a Libertarian Think- Tank in Washington, D.C. There are a total of 15 different essays in this 122 page paperback book, and each one is written by a different author.

The basic premise of this book is that the American Political landscape is going to change in the coming years, as the baby boom generation matures. Baby boomers are known for their tendency to be economically conservative (more Republican) and socially liberal (more Democratic). This combination of traits will move politics in a Libertarian direction, in the coming years. Today, the nations politics are more conservative overall. That’s mainly due to the fact that there are so many older voters (pre- baby boom generation)who tend to be conservative on most all issues, economic and social.
Some of the ideas presented here are interesting. The writers point out that, prior to the 1970’s, political analysts tried to peg everyone as being either liberal, moderate, or conservative. Someone who was conservative on economic issues (against government control of the economy) and liberal on social issues (against government control on personal decisions) was considered to be “inconsistent” in his/her thinking. Likewise, someone who was liberal on economic issues and conservative on social issues was also viewed as inconsistent. If anything, what’s really inconsistent is to be conservative on ALL issues, or liberal on ALL issues. In other words, in the past, if you were 100% pro- liberty, or 100% pro- government, you were labeled as unusual in your thinking. Times have changed!

The various contributors of this book agree that politicians has better pay attention to the coming changes in the political landscape. If they ignore these changes, they will likely be replaced by more Libertarian- thinking leaders.

The sad but true fact, reading this book just recently, I often wonder what will get the American people to act against their representatives? The old adage seems to be true:

A complaining American is a Happy American!

Well, I am telling you…we are an ECSTATIC country! All anyone wishes to do is bitch and complain about the circumstances surrounding them. I believe that one day the rhetoric that is spewed from our leadership and our representatives will cause people to eventually choose a Liberty minded individual for the political seats throughout our country. I am hoping it is long before all of our rights are abolished.

Ahhhhhhh…to read about the good old days where the people got sufficiently mad at their representatives and then traipsed them down the street with tar and feathers…most did not survive, mind you. I am truly losing faith in my countrymen and my country’s leadership!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Dead Sea Scrolls – Discovery and Meaning

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dead-sea-scrolls-discovery-and-meaningWhat is the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls? Why are they so important to our understanding of the Bible, Christianity and Judaism? Hershel Shanks shares the dramatic story of the discovery of the most intriguing Biblical archaeology find of the 20th century, the surprising tale of how they were acquired, and, most importantly, how they illuminate our understanding of the codification of the Hebrew Bible. In addition, you’ll read how the scrolls further our understanding of life during Jesus’ time and the early rabbinic period of Judaism.

In Part I, Hershel Shanks describes the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls’ discovery. He guides us through the geography of the area, and explains how the scrolls were located near Qumran by Bedouin shepherds and later acquired by the Israeli government. (Some were even listed for sale in The Wall Street Journal!) Many beautiful full-color photographs help illustrate this fascinating tale.

Part II explores the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the development of Christianity. The scrolls help provide a context for the search for the historical Jesus by illuminating the times in which he lived. We also learn how the scrolls help us understand such concepts as “son of God” and “messiah.”

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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