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Thanksgiving from Pilgrims’ Writings (Primary Sources)

Posted by FactReal on November 22, 2018

PILGRIMS’ WRITINGS SHOW THEY WERE GIVING THANKS TO GOD
Read the story of Thanksgiving from the primary sources – the Pilgrims.

* Pilgrim, Captain and Governor William Bradford wrote the manuscript ‘Of Plymoth Plantation’ [Of Plymouth Plantation]
Digitized page via State Library of Massachusetts:

Online version via Gordon College:


Modern translation:

“After this, on the 18th September, they sent out their shallop to Massachusetts with ten men, and Squanto as their guide and interpreter, to explore the bay and trade with the natives, which they accomplished, and were kindly received. The Indians were much afraid of the Tarantines, a tribe to the eastward, who used to come at harvest time and take away their corn, and many times kill some of them. They returned in safety, and brought home a good quantity of beaver, and reported on the place, wishing they could have settled there. (But it seems that the Lord, Who assigns to all men the bounds of their habitations, had appointed it for another use. And thus, they found the Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to bless their outgoings & incomings, for which let his holy name have the praise for ever, to all posterity.

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.”

*Pilgrim & Governor Edward Winslow wrote ‘Mourt’s Relation’ (Governor of the Pilgrims several times)
e-book: Mourt’s Relation or Journal of the Plantation at Plymouth (PDF)

Modern translation:
our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

The journal Mourt’s Relation was:
– Written primarily by Pilgrims and Mayflower passengers: Edward Winslow, William Bradford.
– Written between November 1620 and November 1621.
– Describes the landing of the Pilgrims at Cape Cod, their exploring and eventual settling at Plymouth, their building of the Colony, their relations with the surrounding Indians, including the First Thanksgiving.
– Originally printed in 1622 under the tile A Relation or Journal of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth, is the first published account of the coming of the Pilgrims to the New World to settle Plymouth Plantation.

* From the Life and Time of William Brewster, ruling Elder of the Pilgrims who founded New Plymouth, the parent colony of New England, in 1620.

PILGRIMS DECLARE THEIR FIRST PUBLIC THANKSGIVING FESTIVAL IN 1621
In 1621, from the month of May of their first year to November, the prospects of the Pilgrim colony became gradually more encouraging: The first summer’s provisions were gathered; summer breezes and health came to the enfeebled survivors; autumn advanced. Thus, the Pilgrims decide to declare a three-day feast at the end of 1621 to thank God and to celebrate America’s first Thanksgiving Festival.

Text:
“At length, autumn being far advanced, and their first summer’s harvest of Indian corn being gathered in, they fitted their houses, and made their arrangements against the coming winter. And now, while some were employed in service abroad, and some in fishing, to furnish for each family a goodly supply, others again were engaged in hunting, procuring, among other game, water fowl, wild turkey, and venison. Of meal, or Indian corn, one peck a week for each person was the apportioned supply. Of other meal, or wheat, they had none; nor had they any mill for grinding; therefore their corn must be pounded or mashed by their own hands. Yet even this supply, being deemed sufficient for the present colonists, caused some of them to write home to their friends, in England, in more glowing terms than was prudent or warrantable. The effect was, that these descriptions of plenty induced subsequent emigrants to come without bringing with them their needful stores.

The provision for the little colony being secured for the ensuing winter, their governor set apart a day for public thanksgiving. Accordingly, with the fruits of their labors, the thankful feast was prepared, that all might in a special manner rejoice together, under a grateful sense of these tokens of divine mercy. It was their first thanksgiving or harvest festival in the New World. And we may well conjecture what were the feelings, and what the theme of the Elder, as, assembled in their “Common House,” he led the devotions of these worshippers, and spoke to them words befitting the occasion.

The occasion was likewise improved, as a fit time, to interest and favorably influence the neighboring Indians. “Among other recreations,” says Winslow, ” we exercised our arms; many of the Indians coming amongst us, and with them came their greatest King, Massasoit, accompanied by some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted. They also went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation, and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And though it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet, by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish our friends partakers with us.”

Thus are we brought to the conclusion of the first year’s trials, hardships, and sufferings of the pilgrim company, with the loss of life, and the present temporary relief.”

Source: Ashbel Steele, Chief of the Pilgrims: Or the Life and Time of William Brewster (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co, 1857), pp. 269-270.

MORE
More on the Pilgrims and God
– More digitized documents of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts via State Library of Massachusetts.

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Who is this Jesus: Is He Risen? (Documentary)

Posted by FactReal on April 16, 2017

Looking at the Evidence as we Celebrate this Easter
Abstract[1]:
This documentary looks at the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hosted by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy and Dean Jones.

Part 1:

Part 2:

[1] D. James Kenndy Ministries (Coral Ridge Ministries):
https://djameskennedy.org/

RELATED
Josephus (Non-Christian Historian) Wrote about Crucifixions
Josephus (Non-Christian Historian) Wrote about Jesus Christ
Lucian (Ancient Anti-Christian Satirist) Wrote about Jesus Christ and His Crucifixion
Tacitus (Non-Christian Historian) Wrote about Jesus Christ
Resurrection of Jesus Proven by these Ancient Writers
Resurrection of Jesus Proven by Logic
Resurrection of Jesus: Facts and Evidence (Video)
Ancient Writers Prove Jesus Is Not a Myth
The Case for Christ (video)

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The Case for Christ (video)

Posted by FactReal on April 12, 2017

Looking for the Truth
Abstract[1]: “A SEASONED JOURNALIST CHASES DOWN THE BIGGEST STORY IN HISTORY –
Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates who are specialists in the areas of old manuscripts, textual criticism, and biblical studies. Strobel challenges them with questions like; How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event? Strobel’s tough, point-blank questions…It is a riveting quest for the truth about history s most compelling figure. What will your verdict be in The Case for Christ?”

Book:
[1] The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus
#https://www.amazon.com/Case-Christ-Journalists-Personal-Investigation/dp/0310339308

RELATED:
Ancient Writers Provided the Historical Facts of Jesus’ Resurrection
Ancient Writers Proved Jesus is Not a Myth

EASTER:
HOLY THURSDAY: Jesus’ Last Supper
GOOD FRIDAY: Way of the Cross (Vía Crucis)

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GOOD FRIDAY: Way of the Cross (Vía Crucis)

Posted by FactReal on March 29, 2013

STATIONS OF THE CROSS (Also called Vía Crucis or Via Dolorosa)
The purpose of the 14 Stations of the Cross is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage to the main scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death. This has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions. It is carried out by passing from Station to Station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents in turn.

A series of pictures or tableaux represent certain scenes in the Passion of Christ, each corresponding to a particular incident, or the special form of devotion connected with such representations. Formerly their number varied considerably in different places but 14 are now prescribed:

JesusViaCrucis
Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death
Station 2: Jesus takes up the Cross
Station 3: Jesus falls for the first time
Station 4: Jesus meets His Mother
Station 5: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross
Station 6: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Station 7: Jesus falls for the second time
Station 8: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem who weep for him
Station 9: Jesus falls for the third time under the weight of the Cross
Station 10: Jesus is stripped of His garments
Station 11: Jesus is nailed to the Cross
Station 12: Jesus dies on the Cross
Station 13: Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother
Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb
Meditation and verses via the Vatican.

Sources: Vatican, EWTN, New Advent.

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EASTER 2013: Daily Bible Readings

Posted by FactReal on March 29, 2013

HOLY THURSDAY
Scripture:

  • First Reading: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
  • Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
  • Gospel: John 13:1-15

GOOD FRIDAY
Scripture:

  • First Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
  • Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
  • St. John Passion: 18:1-19:42

EASTER VIGIL (Holy Saturday)
Scripture:

  • First Reading: Genesis 1:1-2:2
  • Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18
  • Third Reading: Exodus 14:15-15:1
  • Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14
  • Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
  • Sixth Reading: Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4
  • Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28
  • Epistle: Romans 6:3-11
  • Gospel: Luke 24:1-12 (Different from year 2012)

EASTER SUNDAY (Resurrection of Jesus)
Scripture:

  • First Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
  • Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4
  • Gospel: John 20:1-9

(Hat tip: USCCB, Todd von Kampen)

HOLY WEEK & EASTER
HOLY THURSDAY: Jesus’ Last Supper
GOOD FRIDAY: The Passion — Jesus’ Trial and Death
HOLY SATURDAY: Awaiting Jesus’ Resurrection
EASTER SUNDAY: The Resurrection of Jesus
RELATED
Resurrection of Jesus Proven by Early Non-Christian Writers
Resurrection of Jesus Proven by Logic
Resurrection of Jesus: Facts and Evidence (Video)
Ancient Writers Prove Jesus Is Not a Myth
The Absurdity of Not Believing the Disciples Account of Jesus Resurrection
THE REAL THANKSGIVING STORY – As Written by the Pilgrims
CHURCH & STATE SEPARATION IS A MYTH

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Jesus’ Resurrection Proven by Early Non-Christian Writers

Posted by FactReal on March 29, 2013

ANCIENT NON-CHRISTIAN SOURCES PROVIDE 100 FACTS ABOUT JESUS
Crowning With Thorns by Caravaggio (Jesus Christ Resurrection)

Crowning With Thorns by Caravaggio

About 18 different ancient non-Christian writers provide more than 100 facts about the birth of Christ, His life, teachings, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension:

Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, Phlegon, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Emperor Trajan, Emperor Hadrian, the Talmud, Lucian, Mara bar Serapion, etc.

Next are the historical facts of Jesus’ resurrection.

FACT 1. JESUS DIED DUE TO THE RIGORS OF CRUCIFIXION
Jesus was crucified circa 30 A.D. His death was reported by several non-Christian writings:

Ancient sources:
▪ Josephus, Jewish historian, (Antiquities 18.3, 18.64), 1st century
▪ Tacitus (Annals 15.44), circa A.D. 115
▪ Lucian de Samosata, Greek satirist, (The Death of Peregrine, 11-13), circa mid-2nd century
▪ Mara bar Serapion (Letter to his son – currently at British Museum), late 1st-3rd century
▪ Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a), late 2nd century

Crucifixion was a common form of Roman execution

Ancient sources:
▪ Josephus (The Wars of the Jews 5.11.1, 5.6.5)
▪ M. Tullius Cicero (Against Verres 2.5.64)
▪ Cornelius Tacitus (The Annals 15.44)

Crucifixion was a torturous death
The crucified died of
▪ Exhaustion
▪ Asphyxia
▪ Dehydration
▪ Congestive heart failure
Early testimony support
▪ The Roman soldiers pronounced Jesus dead.
▪ Many people witnessed the events of which the writers of the Gospels wrote.
▪ Reported in all four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (circa 1st century).*
▪ The flowing of blood and water from the wound made by the soldier’s spear (John 19:34).*
FACT 2. JESUS WAS BURIED IN A KNOWN, ACCESSIBLE TOMB
▪ Jewish and Roman leaders and people, who witnessed the crucifixion, knew where the tomb was.
▪ The owner of the tomb was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin named Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:43).

Had the Gospels been false on this matter they would not have been able to withstand the swift correction and ridicule from the Jews.
Dead Christ by Champaigne (Jesus Christ Resurrection)

FACT 3. EMPTY TOMB
Jesus’ tomb was discovered to be empty just a few days later
Enemy and critics attested that the tomb was empty.

Ancient sources:
▪ Justin Martyr (Trypho 108)
▪ Tertullian (De Spectaculis 30)

No corpse produced
There is no record from Jewish, Roman, critics and other writings to attest that a body was in the tomb. The enemies of Jesus had every reason to produce a body since it would have benefited them. If any corpse had still been in the tomb, it would have been impossible for Christianity to get off the ground in Jerusalem due to the importance of the Resurrection.

Women testimony of the empty tomb
A woman’s testimony was not highly regarded in those days in Roman and Jewish cultures.

Ancient sources:
▪ Josephus (Antiquities 4.8.15)
▪ Talmud (Sotah 19a); Talmud (Rosh Hashannah 1.8); Talmud (Kiddushin 82b)
▪ Origen (Contra Celsum 2:59; 3:55)
▪ Gaius Suetonius, Roman historian, (The Twelve Caesars, Augustus 44) circa A.D. 115
▪ Luke 24:11*

Embarrassing admissions support historical claims
Even the disciples (who were Jews) thought it was nonsense what the women were saying. (Luke 24:11)
It would have been damaging to the disciples’ claim to invent the story and place women as the primary witnesses. Thus, the empty tomb account appears to be historically credible in light of the principle of embarrassment.
FACT 4. JESUS’ DISCIPLES EXPERIENCED THE RISEN JESUS
The disciples preached that Jesus was raised, that the tomb was empty, and that Jesus ascended.
They preached a seen and living Jesus with whom they partook food; they preached the Ascension with equal vigor.

Ancient sources:
▪ Clement, Bishop of Rome, (First Clement 42:3), A.D. 95
▪ Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, (Letter to the Philippians 9:2), A.D. 101
▪ Clement, bishop of Rome, is reputed to have personally known the disciples, according to two early church fathers, Irenaeus and Tertullian, circa 30-100
▪ Polycarp was, according to Irenaeus, taught by the apostles and knew many who had seen Christ, circa 69-155
▪ Polycarp mentions the resurrection of Jesus 5 times in his letter to the church in Philippi. (Letter to the Philippians 9:2)

Verbal tradition
The ancients relied on verbal tradition to teach others. Later on they were copied into writings which were later compiled into the New Testament. Verbal tradition before the New Testament pointed to Jesus’ original disciples saying that the risen Jesus had appeared to them.

Ancient sources:
▪ Tertullian, African church father (The Prescription Against Heretics, 32)
▪ Irenaeus, early church father (Against Heresies, 3.3.3), circa 185
▪ Irenaeus (Letter To Florinus) (preserved by 4th-century church historian, Eusebius)
▪ Tertullian (Prescription Against Heretics, 32)

Written tradition
We have written tradition that shows the disciples saying that Jesus had appeared to them after he rose from the dead.

Ancient sources:
▪ The 4 Gospels attest to the resurrection of Jesus and report the disciples’ claims that Jesus rose from the dead. The Gospels, all written within 70 years of the crucifixion, testify that Christ rose again.*
▪ Former church persecutor, Paul, claims to have known the disciples firsthand. He wrote the disciples claimed Jesus rose (1 Corinthians 15:9-11, Galatians 2:1-10).*
▪ The creed in 1 Corinthians 15 originated within 5 years of Jesus’ crucifixion. This creed says that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day and that he appeared to the disciples.*

FACT 5. THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE DISCIPLES
Caravaggio- Incredulity Of Saint Thomas (Jesus Christ Resurrection)

Incredulity of Thomas by Caravaggio

After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples receive strength and conviction in the face of martyrdom

The disciples were transformed from doubters who were afraid to identify with Jesus, to bold proclaimers of his death and resurrection, even being willing to die for this belief.

Ancient sources:
▪ Ignatius, bishop of Antioch in Syria, (Smyrn 3:2-3)
▪ Clement of Rome (1 Clement 5:2-7)
▪ Polycarp (Letter to the Philippians 9:2)
▪ Tacitus, Roman historian, (The Twelve Caesars 15.44), A.D. 109
▪ Dionysius of Corinth (cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 2:25:8, 3.1), A.D. 170
▪ Tertullian (Scorpiace 15), A.D. 200
▪ Josephus (cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 2:23), A.D. 95
▪ Hegesippus (cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 2:23), A.D. 165-175
▪ Clement of Alexandria (cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 2:23), A.D. 200
▪ Origen (Contra Celsum 2:56,77), A.D. 230-250
▪ Origen (Commentary on Genesis, volume 3
(cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 3:1)
▪ Luke (Acts 7;12)*

The skeptical Jew, James, was converted by the resurrection
▪ Early creed reports appearance to James (1 Cor. 15:7)*
▪ The Gospels (Mark, John)*

Ancient sources:
▪ Josephus (Antiquities 20:200)
▪ Hegesippus (cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 2:23), A.D. 165-175
▪ Clement of Alexandria (cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 2:1; 2:23), A.D. 200

Conversion of Saul of Tarsus after seeing the risen Jesus
Paul, the great persecutor of Christianity, was converted by the resurrection
(Acts 9:3-9, 17, 22; 1 Cor. 15:8, 9:1; Gal. 1:22-23).
Paul believed to have experienced a personal appearance of the risen Jesus.

Ancient sources:
▪ Clement of Rome (1 Clement 5:2-7)
▪ Polycarp (Letter to the Philippians 9:2)
▪ Tertullian (Scorpiace 15; (cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 2:25:8)
▪ Origen’s commentary on Genesis, volume 3 (cited by Eusebius, first church historian, in Ecclesiastical History 3:1)

The disciples stood by their account and paid the price
Jesus Resurrection (Crucifixion Of Peter by Caravaggio)

Crucifixion of Peter by Caravaggio


Would you pay with your life for a lie? Liars make poor martyrs.

The disciples were persecuted and tortured for preaching the Resurrection of Jesus:
▪ Peter was crucified upside down.
▪ Andrew was crucified.
▪ Luke was hanged by idolatrous priests.
▪ Mark was dragged in the streets of Alexandria.
▪ Bartholomew flayed to death with a whip in Armenia.
▪ Thomas was pierced with a Brahmin sword.

These persecutions would have stopped if the disciples had quit preaching the Resurrection message and the Ascension of Jesus. Their preaching was a threat to the reputation of the Jewish leaders.

WHY THE RESURRECTION IS IMPORTANT
▪ The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.
▪ The resurrection was proclaimed in Jerusalem where the empty tomb was.
▪ The church was born and grew.

(Jesus Christ Resurrection)(Giotto-Ascension)

Ascension by Giotto

SOURCES
MIT’s Classic Archive: Ancient Authors and their Writings
Dr. Gene Scott: The Resurrection (PDF)
Christian Answers
Catholic Answers
Original Catholic Encyclopedia
The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
The Case for the Real Jesus
Truth in Action
Risen Indeed
▪ D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, The Da Vinci Myth vs. The Gospel Truth

* The bible is used here as reference to the Christian stories — not as a proof of the Resurrection. However, it is important to know that the bible contains writings within 70 years of Jesus. Other historic writings have a larger span than the bible between the time the original was written and the earliest copy. For example, Plato’s Tetralogies have 1,200 years interval between original and earliest copy. Aristotle’s works have 1400 years span. Homer’s Iliad, 500 years. The bible has more copies in existence of the ancient writings than any other ancient book that we regard as historic: Homer (Iliad), Plato (Tetralogies), Aristotle, Ceaser (The Gallic Wars). Copyist errors are minimal. The New Testament has 77 separate books and letters of ancient times which were later compiled into the bible. So, they serve as early testimonies from Christians.

MORE FACTS:
Resurrection of Jesus Proven by Logic
Resurrection of Jesus: Facts and Evidence (Video)
Ancient Writers Prove Jesus Is Not a Myth
THE REAL THANKSGIVING STORY – As Written by the Pilgrims
CHURCH & STATE SEPARATION IS A MYTH

RELATED
The Absurdity of Not Believing the Disciples Account of Jesus Resurrection
EASTER: Daily Bible Readings

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