Pagan

ALTAR

ALTAR In the NT, as in the LXX, the usual term for ‘altar’ is θυσιαστήριον—a word otherwise confined to Philo, Josephus, and ecclesiastical writers—while βωμός, as contrasted with a Jewish place of sacrifice, is a heathen altar. The most striking example of the antithesis is found in 1 Mac 1:54–59. Antiochus Epiphanes erected a small …

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ALEXANDRIA (Ἀλεξάνδρια)

ALEXANDRIA (Ἀλεξάνδρια) The city of Alexandria almost realized Alexander the Great’s dream of ‘a city surpassing anything previously existing’ (Plutarch, Alex. xxvi.). Planned by Dinocrates under the king’s supervision, and built on a neck of land two miles wide interposed between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mareotis (Mariut), about 14 miles from the Canopic mouth …

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Figures in the Carpet and Monastic Spirituality in the Wadi al-Natrun (Scetis)

Figures in the Carpet: Macarius the Great, Isaiah of Scetis, Daniel of Scetis, and Monastic Spirituality in the Wadi al-Natrun (Scetis) From the Fourth to the Sixth Century Not many years ago I read a very good scholarly book on Palestinian monasticism in Late Antiquity. In my review of that book I observed, however, that …

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The Unforgivable Sin

The Unforgivable Sin That the Bible describes one sin as “unforgiveable” sparks fear in the hearts of those who worry that perhaps they have committed it. Although the gospel freely offers forgiveness to all who repent of their sins, there is a limit reached at the door of this one crime. The unforgiveable or unpardonable …

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Demons

Demons Demons are supernatural beings who are subservient to Satan. They, like Satan, were once angels. They joined Satan in his rebellion and were cast out of heaven with him. When they are mentioned in Scripture, the primary focus is on demon possession of human beings. The apostle Paul points out that while the idolatrous …

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The Goodness of God

The Goodness of God One of life’s amusing moments comes when we observe a puppy or a kitten chasing its own shadow. It tries in vain to catch it. When it moves, its shadow moves with it. Not so with God. James declares: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes …

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