Saturday, June 14, 2014

Who is St. Bartholomew?

This is a painting of him entitled, "The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew." (click here)

Was he pre or post Jesus Christ?

He is a martyr so that might be a hint. 

He actually lived during the time of Jesus and was an Apostle. He was one of the twelve.

He is a bit of an obscure figure in most text. He doesn't have his own books. He is witnessed in three other Apostles text, Matthew, Mark and Luke, but, not John. There is an identifying reference to him in John as "Nathanael of Cana in Galilee" in John 21:2. He is one of the Apostles believed to have witnessed Jesus at the Sea of Galilee. He is also mentioned again in a friendship with Phillip in what is considered "Acts." Acts if written in long hand would be "Acts of the Apostles." 

He is significant to christian text because he is in three of the Apostle's scripture and mentioned in another, but, he had a significant role in witnessing Jesus. Anyone know what he witnessed besides at the Sea of Galilee?

Jesus was crucified in Roman tradition and according to scripture he was wrapped in linen by Joseph of Arimathea (he would later be recognized as a saint by the Catholic church), anointed with as much as 12 ounces of expensive perfumed oil and depending on the scripture the anointing was on his head, feet or twice mentioned his entire body and he was placed in the new tomb. Joseph of Arimathea was a rather wealthy man and the new tomb that Jesus was placed was originally intended for Joseph up on his death. As it worked out it didn't matter because Jesus only occupied the tomb for a few days.

In three days after his entombment he was resurrected, celebrated as Easter. But, there was a presence of Jesus Christ for the next forty days according to biblical accounts. Then on the fortieth day Jesus Christ speaks words to the 11 Apostles and ascends on a cloud. It is believed the cloud took him out of view into heaven (That is the way it is reported.) Bartholomew was one of the 11 Apostles, not 12, that witnessed the ascension of Christ.

But, interestingly enough he first doubted Jesus being the Messiah because he was from Nazareth. Nazareth was comprised of traditional Jews that practiced subsistence farming. It was nearly invisible to most scholars, except, for being the home town of Jesus. 

Bartholomew is only mentioned in the bible with Phillip. They are always together and witnessing together. They are friends. When Phillip takes Bartholomew to meet Jesus Christ it is the time of Bartholomew's denial. Jesus states to Bartholomew for the purpose of conversion as a 'believer,' when Philip first asked Bartholomew to visit Jesus, Bartholomew was under a fig tree and Jesus saw him there are the time of Phillip's invitation. According to scripture that is what changed Bartholomew's mind about Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus was also a Rabbi, so much of his identity would cause people to pause linked to what appeared to be a miracle in assessing him as the Messiah.

But, primarily Bartholomew was a witness and accompanied Phillip. He was an Apostle and for the most part they are not mentioned in the Qur'an. In the Qur'an they are referred to as men helping the work of God. The Qur'an, in interpretation by scholars names nine of the Apostles, Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, Philip, John, James, Bartholomew, and Simon. Oddly enough Paul, Mark and Luke are not mentioned in the Qur'an. Paul is implied in a ministry witnessing of Jesus Christ. The Qur'an does not believe any of the teachings to the Gentiles by the men working for God were false. The Qur'an clearly implies these men were teaching the word of God.

It is believed Bartholomew went on to teach no differently than Paul. Where did he teach? His presence was believed to be among Arabs as validated by the relics, currently in preservation in Rome, from what is now Baku, Azerbaijan and at the time of his death 71 A.D it was known as Armenia.

Why is the painting called, "The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew?"  He was sentenced to death for his ministry, flayed alive and beheaded at the command of King Astyages at Albanopolis, on the west coast of the Caspian Sea.

When I reflect on the fact Paul, Mark and Luke are never mentioned by name and realize Bartholomew was teaching in Arabia there is a physical space that would justify those facts. If Paul maintained his ministry in the area of Corinth and Bartholomew on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, there are very real physical reasons why Qur'an scholars would not find evidence of the three Apostles that carry such weight within the christian bible. 

The scriptures when placed in the proper time in history create the depth of understanding that sculpts the christian faith. To remove scripture out of context for the purpose of politics, is, quite frankly, blasphemy. Using words rather than the depth of their meaning when spoken isn't faith at all. To eliminate the 'time and place' of the scriptures for whatever purpose deemed appropriate cheapens the person receiving the words and assigns them incapable of the dedication to learning and/or incapable of comprehension of the scripture itself.

The beauty of quoting scripture is not the words themselves, but, the reference to time and place they were spoken in the context of their meaning.

Blasphemy is allowed under the laws of the USA Constitution in the First Amendment. What prohibits it reverence for God.

Word of the Day, "2 Corinthians 5:17"

The New American Standard Bible

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

From what we know about Corinthians in the Bible this passage is not about creating a new creature. Quite the contrary, it is about finding a new spirituality that transforms one's life. 

In 2 Corinthians, Paul is in the year 56 A.D. It is six years from him establishing the christian church. He speaks now of the message of Jesus Christ than of his own message. Paul was aware of his clout as a Roman and wanted to be truthful in his ministry. He feared the faux apostle bringing messages that were not of Christ. So, in 2 Corinthians 1-7 he defines what is an Apostle. 

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as bond-servants for Jesus’ sake”(4:5).

Have you figured out Paul yet? Why as a Roman he wanted to bring Christ's message to the populous? Was Paul a liberator? Was he judge and jury to Rome's arrogance?

Have a better day.


Friday 13 June 2014
by Taymor Kamrany

2014 Is Shaping To Be Afghanistan’s Y2K (click here)
The year 2014 is a major turning point for Afghanistan with simultaneous security, political and economic transitions. Inquiring minds want to know who will win the presidential elections and what their destiny holds after the US troops draw down?...

Everyone knows anything is possible within the Pakistani ISI. But, in order to break the corruption within the agency and country it is best to root out individuals involved in a horrific event. To paint broad strokes is to force all the ISI and Pakistan government into a defensive posture. 

It is difficult to believe such a man of peace as is Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah can be a target of hatred. But, it is the reality none the less. May he live a long and happy life and to see the same for his countrymen.

June 9,  2014
KABUL - Afghanistan on Sunday accused "foreign intelligence services" of being behind an attack targeting presidential front-runner Abdullah Abdullah that killed 12 people, in a veiled reference to Pakistan....
...Sunday's accusation comes after Afghanistan (click here) said last week that it was pulling out of security talks in Islamabad in anger at cross-border attacks blamed on the Pakistani army, which it said were designed to disrupt the second round of its presidential election.
The NSC "condemned" increasing numbers of "rocket attacks (by the) Pakistani military against the country", which it said were aimed at disrupting the run-off ballot due to be held on June 14.
The attempt to assassinate Abdullah triggered strong international condemnation, including from the United States and the UN Security Council.
Afghanistan is in the middle of elections to choose a successor to Karzai, who has ruled since the fall of the 1996-2001 Taliban regime.
Abdullah fell short of the 50 percent threshold needed for an outright victory in the April first round and will face former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani in the run-off.
The NSC statement said Friday's attack on Abdullah was "the worst incident during election campaign".
This is probably unnecessary to state, but, I would encourage President Rohani to dialogue with regional powers to build consensus. It would appear everyone, in this instance, is in the same boat so to speak. The very worst thing that can happen with Iran is to be an isolated country without alliances, treaties and agreements.

NATO's strength is that if one country is attacked, we are all attacked. Those words are not exclusive to the Oxford English Dictionary.

They tried to silence his father, but, he is among the most important voices in the Middle East.

The real question is "Has democracy been defeated in the Middle East?" 

The world witnessed the power of violence when Wall Street plummeted following the attacks on the USA of September 11, 2001. It is all too clear in a world connected through financial markets where is the greatest strength of jihadists, in combat or in the fiscal stability of a country? Without a defensive force to protect sovereignty a country has no future. It either needs it's own military or strong alliances.

In the case of Lebanon, there is at least one member of the government unafraid to point to the fact the country has an uncertain future without reining in faux priorities.

June 12, 2014 07:30 PM

...The Future bloc (click here) has refused to approve the new salary scale before proper means to finance the increase are established, arguing that Lebanon’s ailing economy cannot tolerate more debt.

“They want to appear as though they are the only ones defending the rights of the people ... Is Hezbollah aiming to take advantage of these popular demands to force the collapse of the socioeconomic reality?” said Hariri.

“Is Hezbollah aiming to bankrupt the Treasury to push the country to accept a conference to reconsider the political system under the pretext of the failure of both the political and economic system?"

Although Hezbollah has denied allegations that the party is seeking a new three-way power-sharing formula to replace the current one, which gives equal weight to Muslims and Christians, its rivals continue to accuse the group of seeking to change the governing system....

Lebanon is a proving ground for trends of violence post election and how a country can fall into destructive methods that defeats freedom in the face of radical religious views.

Democracy and the hopes of having an open forum for all people is not the problem in the Middle East. It is the fact democracy (as is the trend in the USA as example) is taking a back seat to religious preference and influence gained through government power structures.

June 14, 2014 12:38 AM
By Hussein Dakroub

...Lebanese concerns over the events in Iraq stem (click here) from the fact that ISIS and other Al-Qaeda-linked groups claimed responsibility for the deadly car bombings and suicide attacks earlier this year that targeted areas where Hezbollah enjoys broad support, in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the Bekaa region, in response to the party’s military intervention in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad.
Berri warned of the grave developments in Iraq, calling for measures to shield Lebanon against any negative fallout.
“I hope that what is happening there will constitute an incentive for us as Lebanese of all [political] trends to close ranks in order to protect Lebanon and shield it against the region’s storms,” Berri told As-Safir newspaper.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam also voiced concerns over ISIS’ military advances, saying the Cabinet reviewed the situation during its Thursday meeting, but did not discuss taking any specific measures....

In Egypt, Morsi attempted to separate religion from government by officially stepping outside the Muslim Brotherhood for his presidential run. It worked. People hoped and believed he was the one who could quell the violence and bring factions of society together. The Egyptians attempted to bring it's society away from victimizing that resulted in violence. 

Where Morsi failed was to allow those in positions he appointed to carry out priorities foreign to his presidential campaign. The victims then became the subjects of Sharia influence and the people turned against him. Morsi was unable to maintain a secular government. In doing so he failed the very people that placed faith in him.

Now, in Iraq, we are witnessing a Shi'ite government under attack by Sunni rebels from Syria (I remind Assad is Alwite, a branch of Shia (click here)). We know that those affiliated with strong opposition have a greater capacity because of continued al Qaeda influence in the region. The only reason to identify these groups as al Qaeda is for political perks in the USA. Osama bin Laden is dead and the original group of 'the base' have met their maker. There is no such thing as 'the base' any longer. What there is are reincarnations of a proven strategy against The West and evidently other religions spawned by a protracted and illegal war in Iraq.

Democracy is a strange form of government. It requires it's citizens to participate in 'an understanding' about their lives. In the USA for all the differences that exist among citizens we find humor in it. In the case of Middle East religions there is no humor in difference. 

Can democracy be an answer in the Middle East? It would seem not yet. Will people of different governance ever be as free in thought and actions as in The West? There is an answer to that. It is a well constructed understanding that democracy happens over time, not by a war of imposition. What has occurred in the Middle East in the name of democracy and elections has been repeated many times in many other nations. It was evident in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. It is still evident under Assad. Democracy is the joke and the people only confused about their future.

The best example I can provide to the progression to democracy by any country is Brazil. And yet today, we are still seeing struggles of the impoverished and working class to express their unhappiness with their government. But, then in the year 2014, the USA is plagued with the very same occurrence. Is Brazil still not a democracy and a world class power? That. Is a very good question.

I have only one question for Prime Minister Maliki; you honestly didn't see this coming? Or did and couldn't wait. I want an answer.

Somehow it looks better repurposed as a sheriff's cruiser in the USA. Ya can't make this stuff up.

The ISIS will never receive Allstate's good driver reward.

An abandoned Iraqi security forces vehicle is pictured on a road in Tikrit, which was overran by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), on Wednesday. (Reuters)

BRUSSELS: NATO ambassadors (click here) held an emergency meeting at Turkey’s request on Wednesday on the situation in northern Iraq, where Islamist militants have seized swathes of territory and taken 80 Turkish citizens hostage.
“Turkey briefed the other allies on the situation in (the Iraqi city of) Mosul and the hostage-taking of Turkish citizens, including the consul general,” a NATO official said.
He said the meeting was held for informational purposes and not under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, which permits a member of the 28-nation alliance to ask for consultations with other allies when it feels its security is threatened.
“Allies continue to follow events very closely and with grave concern,” the official said.
He said attacks by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Mosul represented “a serious threat to the security of Iraq and to the stability of the region.”....

Oh, come on, Mitt. Run at least one more time. There ain't nothing like driving Wall Street to the ballot box as citizens.

Park City, Utah
June 13, 2014

Mitt Romney insisted Friday that he would not attempt a third presidential run in 2016. But he sounded very much like the candidate he once was as he sharply criticized Hillary Rodham Clinton's record and denigrated the "Obama-Biden-Clinton" foreign policy as a "monumental bust."
Opening a foreign policy-focused conference with 300 of his top donors on Friday, Romney chided President Obama for "reaching out a hand of friendship to every nation and people," even those who have endangered U.S. interests, such as Iran and North Korea....

How could we do without the 53%?

I hear Ann has the ultimate in green agendas, "Burn hay, not carbon."

Iran has every right to defend it's borders. If assistance into Iraq equates to stemming a border assault there is no reason for Iran not to act.

I can't believe this war into Iraq is coming down to name calling as to whom are the good guys in the white hats and whom is not. That is absurd. What's the matter McCain you can't sing "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" anymore?

The relationship between Iran and southern Iraq is more than obvious. If Iranians responding to threats to their borders and the lives of their neighbors means there will no longer be wars in the region what more can any western country as for? That's right, the USA will simply cut off aid to Iraq if Iran assists in defending the country.

Ahmadinejad was a big bag of wind and compromised any good will between the Iran and The West, but, he never carried out any of what he boasted. He never did because the USA backed Israel. Get that straight, too. It is time The West stop their nonsense and let the region settle into defensive postures and peace.

...Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rohani (click here) said his government was prepared to consider cooperation with the United States in helping Baghdad fight the Islamist militants who took control of a broad swath of northern Iraq this week. 

"If we see that the United States takes action against terrorist groups in Iraq, then one can think about it," Rohani told a press conference.
He added that any Iranian help would be within international regulations and could include "consultation," a possible hint that military advisers may be provided. 

The Iranian president also dismissed U.S. media reports that Iran has already sent troops across the border. 

He said no specific request for help has been made by Maliki, stressing that such a decision is Iraq's to make....