Wednesday, November 20, 2013

If it walks like a duck: Ossuary 6 of the Talpiot 'Patio' Tomb depicts 'commonly' used Jewish images?

As usual, Mark Goodacre deleted my post to his blog here:
But he has subsequently given me a fair hearing.

Although I disagree with almost everything that James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici have written, in my post to Goodacre's blog, I agreed with them that the Talpiot Tomb B, Ossuary 6 belonged to people who had 'Christian' beliefs.  

Mark Goodacre didn't like that. He has made Tabor and Jacobocvici the butt end of his jokes, as in his latest post above. But it has backfired on him. He has recruited one Dr Meijer in support of his views on Ossuary 6. Goodacre regards Dr Meijer as a "sharp-eyed" and "instinctively right" individual. Needless to say Dr Meijer is an expert. But weirdly he is expert in Biomolecular and Biomedical science.

Meijer says:"Therefore, in my opinion ossuary 6 is not from a distinctively Christian ‘resurrection’ tomb, but from a tomb belonging to a normal Jewish family." I ask is there any such entity as a "normal Jewish family"?  Here I will argue that ossuary 6 belonged to a prophetic family who were among the first 'Christians'.

On Goodacre's blog, the image of a 'cup' or amphora on the side of Ossuary 6 is shown along with images of cups on the so-called coins of revolt. According to Meijer (and Goodacre who regards Meijer's observations as "enlightening and persuasive") these images are "standard Jewish images of the period, not connected to the emerging Christian movement".

I pointed out to Goodacre that none of the images on the ossuary and the coins of so-called revolt, showed anything to do with the sacrifice of animals, which one may have thought would have been very important to priests.  (I have written about the coins of so-called revolt before on this blog). Ossuary 6 clearly shows, on the side, a view of the sanctuary doors. The temple as a whole is not shown, only the sanctuary.  The sanctuary, as distinct from the temple as a whole, is a highly significant symbol.  The position where one would expect to find the altar of burnt offerings was outside the sanctuary and is therefore not shown. One can only assume that the altar of burnt offerings was of no importance to the owners of ossuary 6.

Meijer says ossuary 6 belonged to a 'priestly' Jewish family, yet there is nothing to indicate that ossuary 6 did belong to priests as such.  Why does he say 'priestly', a commonly used expression of academics to blurr what they mean?  Why didn't Meijer write priest?  Is there little or no evidence that this ossuary was a priest's?.  I can accept that ossuaries were afforded by the wealthy.  But what if it was a priest's ossuary?  The priest (by birth) could have given up on animal sacrifice and converted to the prophets, as happened in the New Testament. He would have worshipped God in the Spirit, as in Acts. His place of worship would have been the altar of incense in the Sanctuary.  In Acts, the place of worship was anywhere.

On page 151 of her book Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit, Jodi Magness says that:"Levy Yitshak Rahmani connected the appearance of ossuaries with the Pharisaic belief in the individual, physical resurrection of the dead".  Pharisees and Sadducees were Roman Flavian inventions in the writings attributed to Josephus.  The only other source is the New Testament which is thus highly suspect also.  Pharisees were invented to obfuscate the prophets, and Sadducees the priests.  Pharisees were clearly interpolated into the writings attributed to Josephus. Neither Pharisees nor Sadducees are referred to in the Scrolls or Philo.  Philo (from Alexandria) does not mention Pharisees and Sadducees, only priests and Essenes.  Eusebius, supposedly quoting Philo, says that that the Essene's "lawgiver (Moses) trained an innumerable body of his pupils" and that "they were "honoured with this appellation because of their exceeding holiness". (See Philo's Hypothetica 11.1)  This was a serious slip-up by Eusebius who was clearly referring to prophets.  The use of ossuaries was thus by the prophets.  Prophets are interpolated as Essenes in the writings attributed to Josephus.  It is no surprise to me that Essenes, Sadducees and Pharisees are not named on any ossuaries, or in the Scrolls.      

Why did most of the 3000 or so ossuaries discovered come from Jerusalem?  There were no priests in the temple from the time of Herod.  They were brooding and plotting in their villages, and not having much to do with other people.  From the time of Herod, animal sacrifices had ceased.  Herod's altar had been destroyed by the priests because they considered it unlawful, and they were sent into exile out of Jerusalem.  The occupants of the sanctuary were prophets who were supported by the Herodian kings, Aristobulus II and later his son Agrippa I who was also a prophet, and a friend of Nero. Although many of the prophets were poor farmers, and not so poor construction workers, many others would have been rich, living off income from their own businesses.  They were friends of Agrippa I and Nero.   They were the anointed ones, who went back a long way in Jewish history.  Eusebius knew that the prophets (Essenes) were legislated for by Moses, as stated in Philo.  Hence he stuck to the obfuscation that they were called Essenes.  In Rome, Pompeii and other Italian cities they became the Christianos or anointed ones.  

Magness says (see page 152 of her book) that "outside of Jerusalem, the largest cemetery ....containing ossuaries is at Jericho, which was the site of the .... Herodian winter palaces and the center of  a 'priestly' community".  Why is she afraid to say it was a priest's community.  The reason is it was a prophet's community.  The relationship between priests and Herodians was at an all time low.  The cutting of rock and stone must have been a common transferable skill used in quarrying, mining, and rock-cut tombs, ossuaries, and a wide range of buildings and structures, especially in this area of Jericho near to the Herodian palaces. So, I could see some tombs and ossuaries being a DIY effort, by skilled relatively poor or relatively wealthy, whichever, workers who were also prophets.  Such workers would have been a step above farm labourers in the social scale. 

Fig. 46 in Magness's book shows a different ossuary with an amphora in between two incised rosettes. Here the amphora looks as though it has been amateurishly scratched into the surface in contrast with the rest which is professionally inscribed. The same could be said about the amphora on ossuary 6. The amphora on Fig. 46 was incorporated later, as were names that appear on other ossuaries.  Both ossuaries show amphora with a fine hole at the bottom through which a semi-liquid could flow.  This flow could be easily stopped with a plug. The amphora was of central importance to the owners of the ossuary.  The amphora was of prime importance to prophets because it contained anointing oil associated with the Spirit of God.  Anointing oil was precious, being a mixture of various perfumes with olive oil. There is thus a difference between the cups depicted on the so-called coins of revolt and the 'cup' or amphora on ossuary 6 and the amphora on Fig 46 of Magness's book.  The amphora, on ossuary 6 and Fig.46 depicts oil for anointing.  The oil would be a symbol on the side of the ossuary of people who believed they had been anointed  by the Spirit of God. "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor" Isa:61.1. There are no symbols on any of the ossuaries of animal sacrifice.  

The symbol of the amphora was a reminder that the Holy Spirit had already purified these individuals and their spirits had risen in a pure state, on death, to heaven to be with God.  The individual's spirit had been translated to heaven.  There was to be no waiting.  The prophets realised that the bones would eventually decay - "the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it" (Eccl:12.7).  
So Rahmani was wrong when he says that the bones in an ossuary were connected with the Pharisees who he says had the "notion that the decay of flesh from the bones is connected with the expiation of sin". (See page 152 Magness's book).  Magness says that Rahmani implied each individual's remains were preserved intact in an ossuary, in a sinless state, awaiting future future resurrection.  This was all a doing of the Flavian editors, passing down a falsified account of Pharisees.  Prophets believed they had already been cleansed by the Spirit.   

In Chapter 3 of Craig Evans' book, Jesus and the Ossuaries, he has quotations taken from ossuaries. These relate to scribes, builders, farmers, smiths, butchers and other professions. They were a thriving middle-class, the entrepreneurs of the day.  Eusebius, quoting Philo, knew that these people had all sorts of different jobs, and were highly organised into clubs, societies, combinations, and unions with one another, for their mutual advantage.  Quoting Philo, Eusebius says "the different members of this body have different employments in which they occupy themselves, and labour without hesitation and without cessation, making no mention of either cold or heat, or any changes of weather or temperature as an excuse for desisting from their tasks.  But before the sun rises they betake themselves to their daily work, and they do not quit it till some time after it has set, when they return home rejoicing". (Philo's Hypothetica; 11.5-6). This was a far cry from the 'Essenes' described in the writings attributed to Josephus where they are only agriculturalists.  One of their common practices was to put the bones of their dead first into tombs and then into ossuaries. They contributed jointly to purchase land for construction of their tombs and the cutting of ossuaries.  And judging by their work ethic they were not above doing much of the stone cutting themselves.  

The cup on the coins of so-called revolt has a sealed bottom to hold a liquid, possibly wine. This cup too was concerned with the Spirit (as was the grape vine)  - "those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary" Isa:62:9.  These symbols represented a celebration of the Spirit of God.  But this was a time when some of the prophets had realised that God's Spirit could be received by Gentiles.

Simon the builder of the Sanctuary

In his book Jesus and the Ossuaries, Craig Evans writes on page 56 that one of the ossuaries had an inscription "Simon, builder of the temple".  Has the christian Evans made a mistake?  A different translation from a Jewish source is "Simon, builder of the sanctuary".  Did the Jews distinguish "sanctuary" from "temple"?  The temple covered a vast acreage.  The sanctuary was much smaller by comparison.  To me it is obvious that they did.  The sanctuary was very important to prophets, because their worship was centred upon the altar of incense.  

Simon would have known every nook and cranny in and under the sanctuary.  His male relatives would have inherited his profession and knowledge.  His relatives (one may be Simon son of 'Gioras') were no doubt among the defenders of the sanctuary when it was ransacked by Titus's army.  Titus plundered the sanctuary for its wealth of gold to fund the army and Vespasian's rise to power. Earlier in 66, Nero had been let into Jerusalem by the prophets who had occupied the temple. He had destroyed many of the priests, but did not harm the prophets or pillage the sanctuary.  It was prophets, friends of herodians, who defended the sanctuary against Titus, not the mixed bag of cut-throats described by the Roman writers of War.  It was prophets who went through tunnels they had previously cut, and when their way was blocked, tried to tunnel their way out and escape.  They were using a skill acquired throughout their lives, of cutting stone.  Simon "took the most faithful of his friends with him, among them some that were stone cutters, with those iron tools that belonged to their occupation, and let himself and them all down into a certain subterraneous cavern". But they ran out of food and became exhausted.  When Simon came out of the ground, he was wearing a white garment, the simple white garment all prophets wore.  (See War 7.2.1). 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cargill's Hypocrisy - "Bible Secrets Revealed"


This is what Cargill wrote about various people including one very wise scholar, professor Norman Golb.  Cargill reveals his sensitivies:  Robert R. Cargill for the Center for Digital Humanities, UCLA, Jul. 2009, :

"But it is not just wannabe archaeologists that prey on the Copper Scroll.  Some scholars holding to fringe theories about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls regularly make the Copper Scroll a central pillar of their unlikely arguments.  The University of Chicago’s Norman Golb has made a name for himself in part by appealing to the Copper Scroll to argue in support of his version of Karl Rengstorf’s theory that none of the Dead Sea Scrolls were produced at Qumran.  Others, like author Robert Feather, have written several books touting the Copper Scroll’s connection to treasures from Egypt.  The fact that most scholars have wholly dismissed claims by the Barfields, Golbs, and Feathers of the world has not stopped the latter from publishing books and raking in money from a public more than willing to entertain speculation and sensationalist claims over scholarly consensus and sound academic research." 

And never mind about the money Cargill hopes to rake in for his little virtual reality project.


Who has this bully-boy recruited for this film to stand by him?  From what I have read, the film shows the naivety of those who took part in it.       

And most Scholars have NOT dismissed claims made by Professor Norman Golb about the Jerusalem origins of the Scrolls.  These claims may not be the views of the majority, but if a vote were taken, Cargill's claims to be "scholarly" and soundly academic" and in the "the concensus" would be far from reality.  

Cargill's Ignorance

Cargill wrote here 

1."The Copper Scroll has perplexed scholars and fueled the minds of fringe theorists for decades. It is not that the scroll is “mysterious;” we know what it says and what it purports to be: a list of buried treasure. Rather, the Copper Scroll is so anomalous among the Dead Sea Scrolls that scholars have relegated it to a realm of triviality bordering on insignificance. This 30 cm tall document etched on thin sheets of copper, rolled up, and oxidized by centuries of exposure to the environs of the Dead Sea was discovered in Cave 3 near Qumran in the West Bank. But while it was discovered along with hundreds of other documents that have collectively come to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Copper Scroll remains the mother of all anomalies."

2."I join the scholars who conclude that the Copper Scroll describes articles from the second Jerusalem Temple (most likely legendary) supposedly hidden after its destruction in 70 CE, in keeping with later date of its composition.  The Copper Scroll was most likely placed in Cave 3 long after the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls were placed in their respective caves.  And while it was discovered during the excavations that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Copper Scroll should not be considered part of this collection because its author(s), script, style, language, genre, content, and medium are otherwise unattested among the Dead Sea Scrolls."

3." the Copper Scroll is little more than what scholars have claimed since the beginning: an anomaly discovered among the otherwise informative manuscripts comprising the Dead Sea Scrolls."

Cargill will live to regret that he ever wrote such words as above.  They will come back to haunt him.

The author of the book Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, Professor Norman Golb (who Cargill ridicules in his article) lays out his argument for the Copper Scroll beautifully in Chapter 5.  We will see that the Copper Scroll was not an anomaly as Cargill describes, but was instrumental in showing:

1. That the writers had treasure beyond measure which could not possibly be possessed by poor Essenes supposedly resident at Qumran.

2. That like the treasure described in this original document, the Scrolls could only have come from Jerusalem.        

Cargill tells us three times in his article that he believes the Copper Scroll is an anomaly and thus has nothing to do with the scrolls found at Qumran.  He is like the early Jerusalem based scrolls team members de Vaux and Dupont-Sommer.  On page 121 of his book, Golb wrote: "Dupont-Sommer also quotes de Vaux as having stated that the Copper Scroll was the 'whimsical product of a deranged mind'."  Golb states that the Jerusalem team had declared that the Copper Scroll was a work of fiction.  So the question is who had or has the 'deranged mind'?  Was it or is it de Vaux, Dupont-Sommer or Robert Cargill who were or are so full of themselves that they couldn't or can't see the purpose of the Copper Scroll? 

Where did the Scrolls (including the Copper Scroll) come from?

James had been executed in 62 CE by Ananus.

The priests had captured the fortresses of Masada, Machaerus, and Qumran from Agrippa I's forces, and had taken control of Jerusalem.  The temple with its wealth, and the temple scrolls were well defended by the prophets (the 4000 so-called Essenes).  Thus the priests could not get access to the temple, and they chose to bypass it.  Instead the priests went for Agrippa I, his palace, and the Royal archives where copies of the Scroll materials including the Copper Scroll were kept.  They burned Agrippa I's archive after first removing the Scrolls.  The Copper Scroll was written before it was removed from Agrippa I's archives.  Thus Cargill was wrong when he wrote that "the Copper Scroll was most likely placed in Cave 3 long after the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls were placed in their respective caves".  Agrippa I was caught by the priests and killed in an aqueduct.  In 66 CE, the Romans were expected, so the majority of the priests fled to the Judean desert where they esconced themselves in the fortresses.  They took ALL the Scrolls with them in a mad scramble.  The copper Scroll, from the time of Judas Maccabeus, just happened to be among the Scrolls.  

The Romans went to attack Jerusalem at night, and were let into the city by the prophets.  There was no siege of Jerusalem (they left no evidence of such).  Upon entering Jerusalem, the army took revenge on the remaining priests for killing James and Agrippa I.  Ananus was killed. Shortly after, the Romans captured the fortresses which the priests had previously occupied.    

The Romans under Nero did not touch the temple or its wealth, but left it for the prophets.  Nero took his army off to the games in Greece, leaving a guard behind.  The Romans had restored order, and there were four to five years of peace in Judea. Roman propaganda would have us believe they were five years of revolt, and that Vespasian fought a long war during this time, starting in Galilee.  There is no archaeological evidence of a Roman presence in Galilee or Samaria (such as the Roman camps as at Machaerus and Masada). 

A significant fact is that the temple wealth was left intact during the five years of peace.  After the five years, Titus, Vespasian's son mounted a raid on the temple.  Some of what he took is depicted on Titus's arch in Rome, the menorah for example.  The gold from the temple was melted down to fund the army and Vespasian's vast building programme.

So what was the copper Scroll about?  I believe it was from the time of Judas Maccabeus who purged the temple and restored the prophets.  The Copper Scroll was a record hurriedly made by priests to record where they buried temple treasure for the future.  The reason Golb described the Copper Scroll as an unknown script of the time was because it was obviously done by people who were not used to inscribing metal, and certainly not while in a hurry.  The text looks amateurish.  I thought so when I first saw it. 

So Robert Cargill, you are a mere schoolboy backed by schoolboys Goodacre and Ehrman.      


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Acts (James Proclaims the Spirit of God in Rome)

In Acts we see the real reason why Paul (Saul) was created.  Paul masked James.  James had been in Rome much earlier proclaiming that the Spirit was God.  James was the champion of the Jewish real Spirit of God.   James travelled to Rome, spent some time there, and was then sent back to Jerusalem. Two years later James met his death at the hands of Ananus.

Paul was created later, in Jerusalem preaching that Jesus was the Christ.  Paul was the Flavian champion of a fictitious Jesus.    The Flavian writer has Paul travelling in the opposite direction to Rome at the same time as James travelled to Jerusalem.  Paul then vanished. 
The fictitious Paul apparently knows so many Romans that he appears to have spent some time living there before embarking on his missionary journeys.  Thus, it is mighty strange that he is said not to have visited Rome before.

The Flavians had to acknowledge the importance of the Holy Spirit,  but for them it was received after the so called laying on of hands, and usually after baptism (See Acts 8:17).  By sharp contrast the prophets taught that God sent his Spirit to everyone, but only those who obeyed the Spirit received it.  This was a direct communication between God and man without an intercessor. 

James accompanied the young Nero to Rome to meet Nero’s step father Claudius and his mother, Agrippina.  Nero had been under the care of Agrippa I, and had stayed in the palace at Ein Gedi. He had become interested in the Jewish religion of Agrippa I who had adopted the worship of the prophets.  The Spirit of God was proclaimed by the prophets.  This was an opportunity for James to proclaim the Spirit in Rome with the blessing of the Emperor Claudius.  It was not a knew religion, generally frowned upon by by the Romans, but a more pure form of the Jewish religion, without animal sacrifice, and in keeping with the Roman belief in spirits.  The Romans were a spiritistic society, where the idea of someone being anointed by the Spirit of God was easily acceptable.  These were to become Christianos (anointed ones) as at Pompeii.  

There are images of women in the catacombs of Priscilla, leading worship, both in groups and individually.  Also high on a wall in the same catacombs is an image of a mother and child.  The women is symbolic of the Spirit .  She is the conveyor of the spirit to her child.  In Jewish theology every person has a spirit. It is a person’s spirit which gives life which comes from God.  In the early Christianos the women prayed and led prayers in the Spirit, and the men concentrated on proclaiming the Spirit. (See Acts 6).
Acts 7 is the key to understanding Acts.  In Acts 7:51, James clearly identifies that Acts was about the Holy Spirit,  and the historical background of the Holy Spirit, beginning with Abraham. From the time of Moses, the priests had rejected the Holy Spirit. In Acts 7:52, James identifies himself as a prophet. In Acts 7;41,42 he speaks against animal sacrifice. In Acts 7:48,49 he teaches that the Holy Spirit is not confined to the temple. It wasn’t Moses the Jews had rejected, but God’s Spirit. (Acts 7.35).  The stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58) is pure fiction to introduce the fictitious Saul (Paul) out of the blue. James was dragged out of the Synagogue by the priests attending the Synagogue in Rome. The priests dare not do any more to James who they knew was a friend of Nero and Agrippa I. 

The story about king 'Herod' executing 'James' (Acts 12) is a good example of ex-priests, working for the Flavians, knowing about this event, and using it to create a fictitious story.   The true story was about king Aristobulus, Caiaphas and his son Eleazar which  was used to create a false story about king Herod, James and Peter.  (See below and

Yet there are hints in Acts that the Flavian editors or writers knew Hebrew.  See  Captured Jewish priests were working for the Flavian historians, writing NT texts in Greek, not Hebrew. The reason was that the Flavians did not understand Hebrew, and could not check it.  Otherwise, we would have had the original New Testament in Latin, the preferred language of the Roman elite, which the priests did not understand sufficiently to be able to write it.  The Romans frowned upon the use of Greek, and refused to speak it, using a mediator if they had to.  The priests didn't understand Latin and the Romans didn't know Hebrew.  The only way the Romans could be sure what the ex-priests were writing was to use Greek, a widely understood language.  Thus the Greek language was forced upon the Roman controllers of the priests.  There was an army of Jewish ex-priests and Roman historians working together for the Flavians to create and copy  the manuscripts.  Only the Romans had sufficient resources to create, write and disseminate the NT documents.  The Roman aversion to using Greek was probably the reason why the koine Greek language was used.  Neither priests, upon whom the Romans depended for their source information, nor Roman historians were sufficiently competent to write Greek in the language of the Greek elite.  

Many of the New Testament  letters were originally short letters, probably written by one prophet, James, in Hebrew not Greek.  These letters were not written to various churches in different parts of the world from a fictitious Paul.  They were written by James from Rome to the prophets who had occupied the temple. The letters were found by Titus along with the temple treasure, before the temple was destroyed.  The letters were then expanded and edited beyond recognition by later Jewish ex-priests and Roman historians working for the Flavians. Thus the books of the New Testament now appear as treatises, not letters.   

In Chapter 26, James has an audience with Claudius, who (in Chapter 27) makes the decision to send him back to Jerusalem with some of the prophets.  This was because the prophets were experiencing persecution by the priests.  They were to call in at Alexandria, and charter a grain ship, paid for by Agrippina. The grain was to help the prophets who were being starved by the priests.  It was Autumn. On leaving Alexandria, the ship had to face the North Easter, and was blown westward.  The ship's owner decided to take shelter for the winter in the lee of Cyprus at the harbour of Kato Paphos.  The shipwreck was pure fiction. 

Chapter 1
This chapter is complete fiction.  There was no former book about Jesus.
1.1.[In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day
1.2.he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions to the apostles he had chosen. 
1.3.After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
1.4.On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them
this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
1.5.For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit”.
1.6.So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord,  are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 
1.7.He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times and dates the Father has set by his own authority.
1.8.But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
1.9.After he said this, he was taken up before their eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 1.12.Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city.
1.13.When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus, and, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James,
1.14.they all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus , and the brothers. 
1.15.In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)
1.16.and said, "Brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as a guide for those who arrested Jesus.”
1.17. He was one of our number and shared in this ministry.”
1.18.With the rewardreward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.
1.19.Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama that is, Field of Blood.
1.20.“For”, said Peter it is written in the book of Psalms, “ ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no-one to dwell in it,’ and, ‘May another take his place of leadership.’
1.21.Therefore It is necessary to choose one of the men who has been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.”
1.22., beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.  For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
1.23.So they proposed two men: ­­­­­­­­­­­Joseph called Barsabbas also known as Justus, and Matthias. 1.24.Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.  Show us which of these two you have chosen take over this apostolic ministry which Judas left to go where he belongs.
1.26.Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; So he was added to the eleven apostles].
Chapter 2
The CHRISTIANOS (anointed ones) of Rome
This was a document written in the first person, an ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘we’, and ‘us’ document.
A group from Judea went to a synagogue in Rome.  This group was different.  They were prophets led and filled by the Spirit of God. Being filled with the Spirit was a normal event for these prophets.  They did everything in the Spirit, as the Spirit enabled them.  To them the Spirit was God himself.  This was a time for the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the Spirit descended.

2.1.When the [day of Pentecost] {Feast of Unleavened Bread} came, [they] {we} were all together in [one place] {the synagogue}. 

2.2.[Suddenly a sound of the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 
2.3.They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and]   

{The  Spirit} came to rest on each of [them] {us}.

2.4.All of [them] {us} [were filled with the Holy Spirit and] began to [speak] {prophesy} [in other languages]  as the Spirit enabled [them] {us}.

2.5.Now there were staying in [Jerusalem] {Rome} [God-fearing] Jews from every nation under heaven.

2.6.When they heard this

[sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them,    
2.7.Utterly amazed]

, they asked: "Are not all these men [who are speaking Galileans] {prophets}? 

2.8.[Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own language: 
2.9.Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
2.10.Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene, visitors from Rome
both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs –]

2.11.We hear them [declaring] {proclaiming} the [wonders] {Spirit} of God [in our own tongues] !" 

2.12.[Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"  
2.13.Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine”]

2.14.Then [Peter] {I} [stood up with the brothers, raised his voice and] addressed the [crowd] {congregation}: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in [Jerusalem] {Rome}, let me explain this to you;listen carefully to what I say. 

2.15. [These men are not drunk, as you suppose, it’s only nine in the morning.

this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: "

2.17.In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. 
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

2.18.Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days
,and they will prophesy.

2.19.[I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
2.20.The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
2.21.And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
2.22.“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 
2.23.This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge, and you, with the help of wicked men put him to death. 
2.24.But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death for it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
2.25.”David said about him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
2.26.Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also live in hope,
2.27.because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your holy one see decay.
2.28.You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
2.29.“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried,  and his tomb is here to this day. 
2.30.But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
2.31.Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ.
2.32.God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
2.33.Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit has poured out what you now see and hear.
2.34.“For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord:  “Sit at my right hand
2.35.until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ’ 
2.36.“Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.”
2.37.When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, “What shall we do?"
2.38. Peter replied,  “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.]
2.39.The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call." 

2.40.[With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”
2.41.Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their  number that day.] 

2.42.[They] {We} devoted [themselves] {ourselves} [to the apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and] to prayer.

2.43.[Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles].

2.44.All [the believers] {of us} were together and had everything in common. 

2.45.Selling [their] {our} possessions and goods, [they] {we} gave to anyone as he had need. 

2.46.Every day [they] {we} continued to meet together in the [temple courts] {synagogue}. 

2.47.[They] {We} [broke bread in their homes and] ate together with glad and pure hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the [people] {brothers}.

2.48.And the Lord added to [their] {our} number daily [those who were being saved].

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

A division of labour - Men proclaimed the Spirit while the women prayed in the Spirit

6.1.[In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,]

The [Grecian Jews] {sisters} complained against [the Hebraic Jews] {brothers} because [their widows] {they} were being overlooked in the daily [distribution of food] {prayers}.

6.2.So [the twelve] {I} gathered all the [disciples] {sisters and brothers} together and said, "It [would not be] {is} right for [us] {the women} to [neglect the ministry of] {pray in} the [word] {Spirit} of God [in order to wait on tables.]

6.3.[Brothers, choose seven men from from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them]

6.4.and [we] {the men} will give [our] {their} attention to [prayer and the ministry of the word] {the proclamation of the Spirit}.”

6.5.This proposal pleased the whole group.

[They chose Stephen, full of faith; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
6.6.They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them.]

6.7.So the [word] {Spirit} of God spread. The number of [disciples] {Christianos} in [Jerusalem] {Rome} increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the [faith] {Spirit}

6.8.[Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.]

6.9.Opposition arose, however, from [members] {the priests} of the Synagogue

[of Freedmen as it was called– Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia].

These men began to argue with [Stephen] {me},

6.10.but they could not stand up against [his wisdom or] the Spirit by whom [he] {I} spoke.

6.11.Then they [secretly persuaded some men to say] {said}, “We have heard [Stephen] {James} speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against [God] {sacrifice}.”

6.12.So they [stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They] seized [Stephen] {me} and brought [him] {me} before the [Sanhedrin] {synagogue}.

6.13.They [produced false witnesses, who] testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against [this holy place and against the law] {sacrifice}”

6.14.For we have heard him say, that this [Jesus of Nazareth] {Spirit of God} will
[destroy this place and]
change the customs Moses handed down to us.

6.15.All who were sitting in the [Sanhedrin] {synagogue} looked intently at [Stephen] {me}
[, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel].

Chapter 7


7.1[Then the high priest asked him, “Are these charges true?”]

7.2.To this {accusation} [he] {I} replied, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The [God of glory] {Spirit of God} appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.

7.3.{He said}‘Leave your country and your people [,’ God said , ‘] and go to the land I will show you.’
7.4,So he left the land of the Chaldeans, and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, {the Spirit of} God sent him to [this land where you are now living] {the land of Canaan}

7.5.He gave him no inheritance [here] {there}, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.

7.6.{The Spirit of} God spoke to him in this way: ‘Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and ill-treated for four hundred years.

7.7.But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, [’God said, ‘] and afterwards they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’

7.8.Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

7.9.Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt.
But {the Spirit of} God was with him.

7.10.and rescued him out of all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.

7.11.Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our fathers could not find food.

7.12.When Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, the Spirit sent our fathers on their first visit.

7.13.On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharoah learned about Joseph’s family.

7.14.After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all.

7.15.Then Jacob went down to Egypt where he and our fathers died.
7.16.Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.

7.17.“As the time drew near for {the Spirit of} God to fulfil his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased.

7.18.Then another king who knew nothing about Joseph became ruler of Egypt.

7.19.He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our forefathers by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.

7.20.At that time Moses was born, and he was [no ordinary child] {filled with the Spirit of God from birth}. For three months he was cared for in his father’s house.

7.21.When he was placed outside, Pharoah’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.

7.22.Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.

7.23.“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.

7.24.He saw one of them being ill-treated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defence and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.

7.25.[Moses thought that his own people would realise that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.] (There is no mention of what Moses thought in Ex:2).

7.26.The next day, Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?

7.27.But the man who was ill-treating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?

7.28.Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’

7.29.When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

7.30.“After forty years had passed, [an angel] {the Spirit of God} appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.

7.31.[When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to look more closely,]

He heard the [Lord’s] {Spirit of God’s} voice: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’

7.32.Moses trembled with fear [and did not dare to look]. (He had looked already).

7.33.Then the [Lord] {the Spirit of God} said to him, ‘Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground.

7.34.I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’

7:35.“This is the [same Moses] {Spirit of God} whom they had rejected with the words, 

[‘who made you ruler and Judge?’ (Ex: 2:14; this only refers to two Hebrews who were fighting)] 

‘let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God, nor see this great fire any more, or we will die’. (Deut:18:16, see Acts 7:37).

[He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to Moses in the bush.]

7.36. [He] {The Spirit} led them out of Egypt and did wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and for forty years in the desert.

7.37.[This is that Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will send you a prophet like me from among your own people.’] (Deut: 18:15 – presumably referring to Jesus, and next to Deut.18:16 which the writers originally had before them in Acts 7:35).

7.38.[He] {the Spirit} was in the assembly in the desert with [the angel] {Moses} who spoke to him on mount Sinai. And with our fathers, Moses received [living words] {the Spirit} to pass onto us.

7.39.“But our fathers refused to obey [him] {the Spirit}. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt.

7.40.They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us.

[As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt – we don’t know what has happened to him!’]

7.41.That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honour of what their hands had made.

7.42.But {the Spirit of} God turned away, and gave them over to [the worship of the heavenly bodies] {their sacrifices}. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:
‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings for forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?

7.43.You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your God Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.

7.44.“Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the [Testimony] {Spirit of God} with them in the desert.
It had been made as {the Spirit of} God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.

7.45.Having received the tabernacle, our fathers under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations the Spirit drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David,

7.46. who enjoyed the {Spirit of} God’s favour and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for [the God of Jacob] {him} .

7.47.But it was Solomon who built the house for him.

7.48.However, the [Most High] {Spirit of God} does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says,

7.49. ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord
Or where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things?’

7.51.“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears!
You are just like your fathers: you always resist the Holy Spirit.

7.52.Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute?

[They even killed those that predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him. who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”
7.54.When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
7.55.But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
7.56.Look, he said, “I see heaven open and the son of man standing at the right-hand of God.”]
7.57.At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at [him] {me},

7.58.{and} dragged [him] {me} out of the [city] {synagogue} [and began to stone him].


[Meanwhile the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
7.59.While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit.”
7.60.Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.”
When he had said this, he fell asleep.]

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26