Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Biblical

Read Scripture Series: Job

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

November 3, 2015 at 18:29

Posted in Church

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Was One of Jerusalem’s Greatest Archaeological Mysteries Solved?

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Leen Ritmeyer reports:

Today the Israel Antiquities Authority announced:

A fascinating discovery recently uncovered in archaeological excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting in the Givati parking lot at the City of David, in the Jerusalem Walls National Park, has apparently led to solving one of Jerusalem’s greatest archaeological mysteries: the question of the location of the Greek (Seleucid) Acra–the famous stronghold built by Antiochus IV in order to control Jerusalem and monitor activity in the Temple which was eventually liberated by the Hasmoneans from Greek rule…

Read on here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

November 3, 2015 at 18:24

What Is the Oldest Hebrew Bible?

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What is the oldest Hebrew Bible? That is a complicated question. The Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments of the oldest Hebrew Bible text, while the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex are the oldest complete versions, written by the Masoretes in the 10th and 11th centuries, respectively. The Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript falls in between the early scrolls and the later codices…

Bible History Daily seeks to answers the question.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

November 2, 2015 at 16:18

All Saints Day

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

November 1, 2015 at 14:13

On Humility

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From the FB.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 30, 2015 at 21:05

The Sin of Sodom

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Sodom’s sin from a Jewish perspective is discussed in the Jerusalem Post:

… It was not only Sodom’s evil that God could not tolerate.

It was also the silence in the face of that evil. And that silence ultimately excluded all of Sodom from the world to come.

Rest here.



Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 30, 2015 at 13:20

Posted in Religion

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Why Are Palestinians Called Palestinians?

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Over at PaleoJudaica:

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Why Are Palestinians Called Palestinians? The Palestinians don’t see themselves as descendants of the Biblical invaders, but they are named for the Philistines just the same (Elon Gilad, Haaretz).

The word “Palestinian” derives from the Philistines, a people who were not indigenous to Canaan but who had gained control of the coastal plains of what are now Israel and Gaza for a time. According to ancient Egyptian records of the period, which is the first written mention of them, the Philistines reached the region in around the 12 century BCE, which the archaeological record seems to confirm.

Although it is likely that some Philistine blood runs through the veins of modern-day Palestinians (and through the Jews’), they are a different people with a different culture.

Where the Philistines originated is a matter of debate, as they left no written records, but there are two main theories, based mainly on signature pottery shards. The original theory was that the Philistines originated in the Aegean basin and belonged to the Mycenaean culture. A newer hypothesis is that they were members of the Hurrian culture and came from what is today southern Turkey and Syria.

In any case, given the current state of knowledge, it is impossible to determine the etymology of the Philistines’ name in their own language.

What we can discuss is how this word morphed into the name of an altogether different people thousands of years later.


And so he does, taking the development of the name up to the present. Good discussion. The origin of the name is a less complicated question than that of the genetic origin of the people who now call themselves “Palestinians.” Genetic testing is probably advanced enough these days to make some progress toward answering the latter question. Meanwhile, some years ago I posted some thoughts on the subject here (point 2).


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 30, 2015 at 13:04


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