History for the Rest of Us

Mary, Mother of Jesus – Summary

Mary, Mother of Jesus – Summary

May 5, 2014

Mary, or Virgin Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ, a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee. While betrothed to Joseph the angel Gabriel told Mary that she had ‘found favour with God’ and that she should ‘conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.’ Mary, asking the angel how this could be, since she knew not a man, was told that ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ see Luke 1:26-35 According to Jewish custom, the betrothal would have taken place when Mary was around 12, with the birth of Jesus occurring about a year later. She was present at the marriage where Jesus performed his first miracle and among the women at his...

Was the Examination of Jesus Illegal?

Was the Examination of Jesus Illegal?

Apr 22, 2013

SOURCE: THE TRIAL OF JESUS FROM A LAWYER’S STANDPOINT by WALTER M. CHANDLER OF THE NEW YORK BAR LAW “Now the Jewish law prohibited all proceedings by night.”—Dupin, “Jesus Devant Caïphe et Pilate.” “Be not a sole judge, for there is no sole judge but One.”—Mishna, Pirke Aboth IV. 8. “A principle perpetually reproduced in the Hebrew scriptures relates to the two conditions of publicity and liberty. An accused man was never subjected to private or secret examination, lest, in his perplexity, he furnish damaging testimony against himself.”—Salvador, “Institutions de Moïse,” pp. 365, 366. FACT AND ARGUMENT The private examination before Annas (or Caiaphas) was illegal for the following reasons: (1) The examination was conducted at night in violation of Hebrew law; (2) no judge or magistrate, sitting alone, could interrogate an accused judicially or sit in judgment upon his legal rights; (3) private preliminary examinations of accused persons were not allowed by Hebrew law. The general order of events following the arrest in the garden was this: (1) Jesus was first taken to the house of Annas; (2) after a brief delay He was sent by Annas to Caiaphas, the high priest, in whose palace the Sanhedrin, or a part thereof, had already assembled; (3) He was then brought before this body, tried and condemned; (4) He remained, during the rest of the night, in the high priest’s palace, exposed to the insults and outrages of His keepers; and was finally and formally sentenced to death by the Sanhedrin which reconvened at the break of day. That Jesus was privately examined before His regular trial by the Sanhedrin is quite clear. But whether this preliminary examination took place before Annas or Caiaphas is not certainly known. John alone records the private interrogation of Jesus and he alone refers to Annas in a way to connect him with it. This Evangelist mentions that they “led him away to Annas first.” Matthew says that after the arrest of Jesus, they “led him away to Caiaphas the high priest,” without mentioning the name of Annas. Mark tells us that “they led Jesus away to the high priest”; but he does not mention either Annas or Caiaphas....

Was the Arrest of Jesus Illegal?

Was the Arrest of Jesus Illegal?

Mar 31, 2013

SOURCE: THE TRIAL OF JESUS FROM A LAWYER’S STANDPOINT by WALTER M. CHANDLER OF THE NEW YORK BAR LAW “Now the Jewish law prohibited all proceedings by night.”—Dupin, “Jesus Devant Caïphe et Pilate.” “The testimony of an accomplice is not permissible by Rabbinic law both propter affectum and propter delictum, and no man’s life, nor his liberty, nor his reputation can be endangered by the malice of one who has confessed himself a criminal.”—Mendelsohn, “Criminal Jurisprudence of the Ancient Hebrews,” n. 274. “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: Thou shalt not avenge or bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”—Leviticus xix. 17, 18. FACT AND ARGUMENT The Bible record discloses three distinct elements of illegality in the arrest of Jesus: (1) The arrest took place at night in violation of Hebrew law; (2) it was effected through the agency of a traitor and informer, in violation of a provision in the Mosaic Code and of a Rabbinic rule based thereon; (3) it was not the result of a legal mandate from a court whose intentions were to conduct a legal trial for the purpose of reaching a righteous judgment. These elements of illegality will be apparent when the facts of the arrest are briefly stated. It was the 14th Nisan, according to the Jewish calendar; or April 6th, A.D. 30, according to our calendar. The Paschal Feast was at hand. The eyes of all Israel were centered upon the Metropolis of Judaism. From Judea, from Samaria, from Galilee and Perea, from all parts of the world where Jews were resident, pilgrims came streaming into the Holy City to be present at the great national festival. It was to be an occasion of prayer and thanksgiving, of sweet memories and happy reunions. Then and there offerings would be made and purifications obtained. In the great Temple, with its gorgeous ritual, Judaism was to offer its soul to Jehovah. The national and religious feelings of a divinely commissioned race were...

Birth of Jesus Christ

Birth of Jesus Christ

Dec 22, 2012

The Birth of Jesus as recorded in the ‘The Gospel According to St. Luke’ King James version of the Bible: And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward...

95 Theses – Martin Luther

95 Theses – Martin Luther

Oct 31, 2012

Widely regarded as the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses was a protest against abuses related to the sale of indulgences. Luther, a German monk, proposed that they violated the original intent of confession and penance. He argued that Christians were being falsely told that God’s punishment for sin could be avoided through the purchase of indulgences. On October 31, 1517 Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Below is an English translation of the 95 theses: OCTOBER 31, 1517 Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter. In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance. 2. This word cannot be understood to mean sacramental penance, i.e., confession and satisfaction, which is administered by the priests. 3. Yet it means not inward repentance only; nay, there is no inward repentance which does not outwardly work divers mortifications of the flesh. 4. The penalty [of sin], therefore, continues so long as hatred of self continues; for this is the true inward repentance, and continues until our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. 5. The pope does not intend to remit, and cannot remit any penalties other than those which he has imposed either by his own authority or by that of the Canons. 6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring that it has been remitted by God and by assenting to God’s remission; though, to be sure, he may grant remission in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in such cases were despised, the guilt would remain entirely unforgiven. 7. God remits guilt to no one whom He does not, at the same...

St. Francis of Assisi – Sermon to the Birds

St. Francis of Assisi – Sermon to the Birds

Oct 24, 2012

The following sermon was given by St. Francis of Assisi sometime in the 1220s: Sermon by St. Francis My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple rainment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits; and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God. Related Stories: Conselheiro Council of Constance Diet of Worms Savonarola Clovis, King of the...