Wednesday, May 16, 2007

K-House eNews for May 15, 2007

Koinonia House Online
Bringing the world into focus through the lens of Scripture
K-House eNews
For The Week Of May 15, 2007

**TABLE OF CONTENTS**

This Week's 66/40 Radio Broadcast

Articles and Commentary

  • Evidence of Flood? Fossil Forest Found in Illinois - (Read)
  • The Supernatural Origin of Biblical Texts - (Read)
  • Examining the Gospel of Matthew - (Read)

Important News Headlines

Memory Verse of the Week


**THIS WEEK'S 66/40 RADIO BROADCAST**

Mark 8 - 9 Mark 8 - 9
Who Do You Say I Am?

Jesus said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? That is a question that you and I have to answer, that is a question which is a matter of life and death. That is the most important question you'll ever answer in your entire life, ''Whom do you say Jesus is?''.


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This atheistic worldview deeply influenced Strobel’s academic years and early career as an award-winning journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Then, in 1980, his wife’s conversion to Christianity led him on an intensive search for the truth about God. Not surprisingly, he began with science.


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**ARTICLES AND COMMENTARY**

EVIDENCE OF FLOOD? FOSSIL FOREST FOUND IN ILLINOIS - (Print)

Thousands of flood accounts exist around the globe. A significant number of these accounts describe the destruction of all living things except one righteous family and the animals they took with them on a boat. Some accounts, from Lithuania to East Africa to North America Indian tribes, also include the sign of a rainbow as evidence of God's mercy. Most accounts say that the deluge was a world-wide event.

Water Water Everywhere

While secular geologists poo-poo the idea of a global flood, they do recognize that water has covered most parts of the earth at some point or another. Clamshells and oysters can be found in the cow fields of Wyoming, leftovers from what the geologists call the Western Interior Seaway. Millions of trilobites - sea-floor dwelling arthropods - can be found buried in Ohio and New York. In fact, trilobites are common enough to be considered an index fossil, with trilobite beds found in Germany, China, the Canadian Rockies, the United Kingdom, Russia and Morocco's Atlas Mountains.

A Water-Buried Rain Forest

Recently, a US-UK team published an article in the journal Geology describing a 40 square mile fossil forest buried in Illinois. An earthquake is credited for sinking the rainforest quickly below sea level, where it was buried under muddy water. Observers can trek through the coal mine where the fossil forest was discovered and gaze at acres of fern fronds and trees on the mine ceiling. The huge leaves and mosses were preserved with amazing detail.

"It was an amazing experience. We drove down the mine in an armored vehicle, until we were a hundred meters below the surface," said paleobotanist Howard Falcon-Lang from the U.K.'s University of Bristol. "The fossil forest was rooted on top of the coal seam, so where the coal had been mined away the fossilized forest was visible in the ceiling of the mine."

Paleobotanists are excited about the prospect of studying these extinct plants as part of an entire ecosystem, and not simply as single plant fossils.

Another Catastrophe

Catastrophe has to be responsible for a major fossil find like this. If bugs or bacteria have a chance to attack the dead plants, they would quickly decompose. The incredible preservation of this fossil forest was only possible because of the quickness of the forest's burial in mud.

"We're looking at one instance in time over a large area. It's literally a snapshot in time of a multiple square mile area," said study team member Scott Elrick of the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS). "Some of these tree stumps have been covered geologically speaking in a flash."

Other burial sites around the world show identical "flash" preservation. In Morocco, trilobites have been found petrified in the very process of rolling up into a protective ball. In Wyoming, raindrop marks and delicate bird footprints have been found preserved in petrified ancient mud.

Perhaps the geologists are correct, and this fossilized forest was buried in an earthquake unrelated to the Great Flood. We have not studied all of th evidence regarding this specific site in Illinois. It is remarkable, however, how consistently the fossil record offers evidence of a major catastrophe - catastrophe involving "a lot of water."

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights… And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that [were] under the whole heaven, were covered.

- Genesis 7:11-12, 19

Related Links:

Fossilized Rainforest Found In Coal Mine - MSNBC
Giant Fossil Rainforest Unearthed - BBC
Flood Legends From Around The World - NCN
Some Notable Trilobite Localities - TNC
Are Fossils The Result of Noah's Flood? - ICR
Study Resources: Creation and Evolution - Koinonia House

THE SUPERNATURAL ORIGIN OF BIBLICAL TEXTS - (Print)

Why do we believe the Bible is accurate? Is it more than just a history book? What makes it different from all other religious books? Over the years we have been asked many questions concerning the accuracy of the Bible. Unfortunately many Christians do not know how to answer these commonly asked questions. So today we are going to examine how God authenticates His message.

In the 20th century we have witnessed one of the most remarkable discoveries in recorded history: the discovery that the universe is finite. The implications of this discovery are indeed staggering. Beginning with Albert Einstein in 1903, twentieth-century physicists have demonstrated that space-time and matter had a finite, simultaneous beginning.

Prior to this discovery, atheistic scientists and philosophers rested comfortably on the notion that the universe was eternal. Consequently, a universe without a beginning needed no cause, it just existed. However, a universe that has a beginning either created itself (a logical and scientific absurdity) or it was caused to exist by a Being who preceded it. By definition, that means a transcendent Creator, One who exists outside time and space.

A transcendent Creator presents some interesting possibilities. Because a transcendent Creator possesses the sufficient means to act in our space-time domain, He also has the capability to get a message to us. The Bible claims to be that message. The Bible authenticates that its text is an extraterrestrial, supernatural message system from a transcendent Creator in several ways. Not the least of which is its scientific accuracy.

The Bible declares that God is omniscient (all-knowing). He possesses a perfect understanding of the physical universe. Consequently, we would expect any book claiming to be the word of God to be without error or contradiction when it speaks on scientific issues. Well, not only is the Bible 100 percent accurate regarding scientific phenomenon, it revealed many scientific facts thousands of years before they were discovered by scientists (i.e. that time, space, and matter are finite, the universe is expanding, the spherical nature of the earth, the laws of thermodynamics, the oceanic currents, etc.)

Throughout the Bible’s text there are highly specific and accurate statements regarding the laws of physics, the nature of our solar system, the planet earth, and its life forms that were penned centuries before this scientific knowledge was discovered by the scientific community. This phenomenon, called scientific foreknowledge, is present throughout the text of the Bible and is a powerful hint of supernatural authorship.

Throughout the Bible we find the fingerprints of a supernatural message system. Numerous design features in the Biblical text defy coincidence and demonstrate that the Bible, which consists of sixty-six books, penned by forty authors over thousands of years, is an integrated message system. Because God exists outside our space-time domain, He is able to see, in effect, the beginning and the end of our time domain simultaneously. Consequently, the Bible authenticates that its message is of extra-dimensional origin through predictive prophecy (i.e. by writing history in advance).

Astonishing evidence has gradually accumulated in the fields of archaeology, astronomy, physics, and biology which confirm the scientific and historical accuracy of the Bible, the supernatural origin of its text and the fact that it has been preserved virtually unchanged for over two thousand years. No other holy book on planet earth authenticates its message in these ways. For more information on the accuracy of the Bible, and for more examples supporting these claims, check out Chuck Missler's verse-by-verse commentary on the book of Genesis.

Related Links:

Genesis - MP3 Download - Koinonia House
Genesis - DVD - Koinonia House
How We Got Our Bible - MP3 Download - Koinonia House

EXAMINING THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW - (Print)

The first thing to notice about the Gospels is that they are skillfully designed; each one is tailored to suit its specific perspective. Matthew was a Jew, a Levite; he presents Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel - the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. This first book of the New Testament plunges right in to establish Jesus as the Meshiach Nagid, the Messiah the King. After first establishing the royal genealogy, Matthew then proceeds to focus on the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies: Matthew uses the term "fulfilled" 82 times!

Matthew emphasized what Jesus said. He evidently recorded the discourses verbatim. As a customs official, he was a tachygrapher, or shorthand writer. The reason Matthew's Gospel is so much longer than Mark's is that he includes Jesus' extensive discourses, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the Olivet Discourse; without these discourses, Mark's Gospel would be longer.

Early Origin

Many scholars now believe that the Gospels were written before Paul's first imprisonment in 57-60 AD, and that virtually all of the New Testament books were written before Jerusalem's destruction.

There is no hint in the New Testament of Nero's persecutions after 64 AD, nor of the execution of James, the Lord's brother, in 62 AD. There is not the slightest mention of the Jewish revolt against the Romans, which began in 66 AD, nor of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. These historic events would have been irresistible in making many of the arguments in the New Testament documents.

Textual evidence suggests that the Gospels were originally written in Hebrew. In hundreds of places the Greek sentence structure betrays a Semitic influence and implies a translation from the Hebrew. It appears that within five years after the death and resurrection of Christ, most of His words and deeds had been committed to a simple written Hebrew form and Matthew is, of course, assumed to be part of this compilation.

In 1994, an ancient segment of the Greek text of Matthew's Gospel was analyzed and it appears to be dated before 66 AD. Known as the Magdalen Papyrus, it contains segments of Matthew 26:23 and 26:31 on both sides of three fragments. Using a scanning laser microscope, it has provided physical evidence that the Gospel according to Matthew is an eyewitness account written by contemporaries of Christ.

Your Challenge

Matthew's thoroughness and precision lends many special insights as one delves into his detailed presentations. His rendering of the Seven Kingdom Parables in Chapter 13 is remarkably parallel to the Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, etc. His presentation of Jesus' confidential briefing to His disciples about His Second Coming in Chapter 24 is an essential foundation in any eschatological (end-time) study. So, clearly, this very basic book of the Bible is, of course, a most rewarding study to both novice and experienced Bible students who are willing to diligently dig in. Our prayers are that you will be blessed as you embark on this fascinating study!

Related Links:

Matthew - MP3 Download - Koinonia House
Matthew - DVD - Koinonia House


**IMPORTANT NEWS HEADLINES**

Moral Majority Founder Jerry Falwell Dies - May 15, 2007
The Rev Jerry Falwell, the television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority and used it to mold the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University. He was 73. MSNBC

US to Ignore Russia Missile Fears - May 15, 2007
The US will not allow Russia to stop it from deploying anti-missile defences in Europe. The US wants 10 interceptor rockets there to destroy any long-range ballistic missiles fired at the US from the Middle East. BBC

Did Soviet Union Plan Six-Day War? - May 15, 2007
In a new book that "totally contradicts everything that has been accepted to this day" about the Six Day War, two Israeli authors claim that the conflict was deliberately engineered by the Soviet Union to create the conditions in which Israel's nuclear program could be destroyed.

Bush May Strike Iran Near End of Term - May 15, 2007
While arguing that economic sanctions against Teheran still have a chance of bearing fruit, a top strategic expert predicted on Tuesday that the Bush administration could conduct a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities toward the end of its term in office. Jerusalem Post

Gunbattles Shake Gaza - May 15, 2007
At least 16 Palestinians were killed on Tuesday in the deadliest fighting between Hamas and Fatah since the rivals formed a unity government in March. At least 29 have died since the fighting erupted on Friday. Reuters


**MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK**

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christs's sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:31-32 KJV


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