||Jesus, son of Joseph, assumed to be Jesus Christ|
||Mary (written in Aramaic), assumed to be Jesus' mother.|
||Mary, written in Greek as Mariamne, assumed to be Magdalene and to have been Jesus' wife.|
||Jose, a rare nickname for Joseph, assumed to be Jesus' father or a brother.|
||Matthew, assumed to be related to Jesus--probably a brother.|
||Judah, son of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.|
||The names given were common names for the time. A catalog of names from that time show that out of 2,625 males, 99 were named Jesus, 218 named Joseph, and 164 Judah; 21 percent of Jewish women at the time were called Mariamne (Mary). Assuming on the basis of names that this is Jesus Christ's earthly family is foolish.|
||Joseph and Mary were not from Jerusalem, and would not have been buried there. Joseph appears to have died earlier and would have been buried in Galilee.|
||There is no record anywhere that Jesus has a brother named Matthew.|
||The Bible indicates that Jesus' brothers on earth were James, Judas, and Simon. None of these are listed in this family plot, and James's ossuary was found elsewhere in the 1970s before this burial site was found.|
Darwin's Deadly Legacy. One of the favorite arguments by atheists and agnostics against Christianity is to portray the history of Christianity as one full of war and terror. Atheists take things like the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the Ku Klux Klan, and the pedophile problems of Roman Catholicism and portray these things as necessary consequences of Christianity. James Kennedy has produced a DVD titled Darwin's Deadly Legacy that has turned the tables on the atheists in this regard. What Kennedy has done is to produce a program in which experts are quoted to show that the logical outcome of the teachings of neo-Darwinism has been slavery, communism, Hitler, Columbine High School's tragedy, genocide, infanticide, and child labor. The program relies heavily on Ann Coulter and Jonathan Wells, but has some useful information. It is an extreme position, but a balance to attempts in the media to vilify Christians and Christianity.
Ozone Hole and Global Warming. Religious and secular newspapers continue to be full of misleading articles and misrepresentations of the situation concerning these two environmental issues. God's design of the cosmos is incredibly complex, and many cyclic processes operate in nature. In October of 2006 the annual report on the ozone hole was made, showing it to be the largest it has ever been--larger than all of North America. Chlorofluorocarbons were restricted in 1987, and yet the problem seems to have gotten worse. The answer seems to be that, in the stratosphere where the ozone hole is, 2006 was abnormally cold. This accelerates the destruction of ozone, and when things warm up scientists are guessing the hole will shrink. The increased warmth of the lower atmosphere is believed to be the cause of the cooling of the stratosphere, so global warming is again said to be the culprit. The earth as a planet heats and cools periodically, and many other processes are linked to this global warming and cooling. This is not to say that man should not do what he can to limit man-made influences on the ozone hole and global warming, but exaggerated prophecies of doom and the picture of these processes as new and different do not agree with the facts. Data from Discover magazine, January 2007, pages 60.
Neanderthal Confusion Continues. What was Neanderthal man? Was he an ape-like human and in fact a missing link? Genome studies in recent months have reported that Neanderthal DNA is significantly different than modern human DNA, and that has suggested to some that the Neanderthals were ape-like humans and not true humans. Two recent discoveries suggest that Neanderthal is not the mystery some have claimed. On January 16, 2007 a report of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that a skull has been found in southwestern Romania that appears to be a mixture of modern and Neanderthal characteristics. The skull has the same proportions as a modern human, but has frontal flattening, large upper molars, and large bones behind the ear--all typical of the Neanderthals.
A study pub lished in London by the Wellcome Trust reports that their studies of the human genome show that DNA in modern humans can vary as much as ten percent. This flies in the face of claims that human DNA is 99.9 percent identical, and means that there can be huge variations in the genome and yet all be of the same species. Races can look a lot different and yet still be one species, and the Neanderthals were just another descendent of Adam and Eve that had characteristics suitable for the harsh environment in which they lived. They were still humans created in the image of God with all the characteristics spiritually that you and I have today.
Man Out of Near Coma After 20 Years. Terry Wallis was severely injured in a car accident that left him in a "minimally conscious state." In 2003, 19 years after the accident he responded to his mother by calling her "Mom" and regained his ability to talk. He has since regained some use of his limbs, and scientists studying the brain scans have been amazed that the brain seems to be growing new axons--in essence rewiring itself. We would suggest that the value of human life has to be given a high priority, because the wonderful design of the human body allows things to happen that would never have been thought possible by most people. Source of information: Discover, January 2007, page 36.
Ape Rights. Spain's Socialist government introduced a measure in May 2006 to grant total human rights to gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and bonobos. The debate continues on this law, but one would have to suggest that if this applies to the apes, why does it not also apply to monkeys, lemmings, and perhaps raccoons? No animals should be subjected to abuse or caused to suffer, but when you classify man as just an animal there is no basis for any kind of legal structure to human society that does not bring starvation and poverty to humans. Man is uniquely created in the image of God, and that uniqueness is the foundation of morality and reasonable laws. Source: The Week, May 12, 2006, page 8.
Global Warming. The media and some in the scientific community continue to portray global warming as something man has caused that is unique to the time in which we live. The fact is that there have always been periods of warming and cooling on this planet, and while man may be contributing to the rate and extent of global change right now, it has always taken place. In the March 2007 issue of Natural History magazine is a useful article titled "Ice Cycles" by Donald Goldsmith (page 14). The article discusses causes of ice ages and warming in the past, but shows how cyclic our planet's climate is. In the September 30, 2006, issue of Science News (page 213) is a report that the top layers of the ocean have cooled between 2003 and 2005 for reasons that are unknown. There is a lot to learn about global warming, and it is important not to let hysteria drive our response to what is a natural process of our planet.
Man-made Organs. Wonderful progress is being made in producing organs that ultimately will replace our organs when they fail. Liver cells have been produced from umbilical cord blood and a human bladder has been produced using healthy cells from a diseased bladder. None of these advances requires aborting babies to get fetal stem cells, and the potential for relieving human illness is huge. Source: Popular Science, December 2006, page 96 and Discover, January 2007, page 16.
Creationist Museums. Elaborate creationist museums costing tens of millions of dollars are being opened in Kentucky, Florida, and California. The problem with these museums is that they promote doctrinal material with a minimum of scientific evidence, and much of the doctrine that they promote is in contradiction to what the Bible actually says. This is in spite of the fact that they suggest that all Christians subscribe to their doctrine and interpretation of the Bible. This plus many scientific errors make these museums a source of confusion to many young people. Just because a building wears the name museum, does not mean what is displayed is true.
Textbook Errors. For many years there has been a Christian group called Educational Research Analysts that has analyzed public school textbooks. They have shown errors, bias, and have rated books. The most recent printout that we have of theirs tells of 427 factual errors in five California history texts. Similar types of problems have been reported on science books and other subject areas in the past. If you are interested in their work you can find them at www.textbookreviews.org or PO Box 7518, Longview, TX 75607-7518, phone 903-753-5993. We have found this to be a useful resource.
Clarification. We have had a few readers who felt our article by Fred Barnes in our last issue was too political. Our stated purpose was to point out media problems in getting facts to the public. We do not endorse any political party or position. Had the Democratic party been in power, we feel the same problems would be true. Our concern is the existence of God and the validity of the Christian system. Quite frankly, we do not care much for either political party. --Editor
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, MayJun07.