Northern Michigan Institute of Bible Studies
The Rest of the Bible History
Aha Bible Moments - Real History, Bible Studies, Pastoral insights
This author’s hope is that the reader will find these short Bible lessons, secular and biblical history and insights engaging, challenging and even testing at times. It is always this author’s intention to provide a few moments of Bible insight. These “aha moments” might very well drive one to look it up for him or herself… mission accomplished.
Just as we should not sit and accept what others say without question or consideration, the “aha moments” from scripture should also be carefully considered. This Web Site may open one’s eyes to something unknown until now or make something in the Bible and secular history finally link. Even better, these discoveries may encourage individuals to dig into parallel Bible and secular histories to support or even deny the “facts” as stated in these articles.
There will be no conscious effort to challenge denominational planks or other religions. This is intended to be informational and at times humorous, but at no time is the following intended to be sarcastic or anti-anything.
We know that history, as fixed in one’s mind or recorded in books, is also subject to time/timing-of-events and some debate as to when, where and why something happened.
No fixed mindsets, time-sets and/or published histories are being questioned or challenged in these “aha moment articles.”
This author’s research for “aha moments in scripture” is not an attempt to change opinions, beliefs, or otherwise be offensive. If any of the afore-mentioned happens, it is incidental to intentions or God's guidance.
I remember sitting in several psychology and sociology classes during my graduate and post graduate studies. It was not the least bit uncommon for students (those in my classes) to talk about our studies during breaks, after class or off campus [online]. We often would review the psychosis, characteristics or profile of a particular malady and often conclude that the disease was describing us.
We must remember that it is when these disease descriptors are taken to the extreme that they are a potential for real problem. The same is true of this author’s description of events and the not-so-well-known “aha moment”. Readers may relate to most of the events, or in some cases, not to any of the events.
Recommendation: become well-read and grow in your own Bible history knowledge. [see below]
Proverbs 9:6 & 9 [NIV] Leave your simple [unfocused] ways and you will live. Walk in the way of understanding. Instruct a wise man (woman) and s/he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man (woman) and s/he will add to his or her learning.
Rev Dr. James W. Stark [DrJ]
Host of this web site
(click on his picture)
50 years ago Paul Harvey recorded this broadcast. What he said then is now true in America. How did we get here?
Died on 2-28-2009
He saw where America is today but 50 years ago
To the readers of ahabiblemoments.com... I have received numerous emails asking about this website. I must apologize for the "slow-down" in posting and writing. The editor of this site has gone through a series of surgeries. The results have been a temporary setback.
Praise the Lord, though. The eyesight is improving as is the heart surgery, ever so little, but improving. "All things work together for those who love the Lord God." I could only love Him more if I knew how. What ever the ultimate result or purpose, God is to be praised.
Please also read the fabulous Bible Studies, messages and blogs from Rev. Du Bois, Pastor Paul Hoffmaster, the recently completed series on Ecclesiastes by Gene Whittum, and the blogs by Rev Robert Rogers. Do not hesitate to visit the archives from 2012... powerful learning to be found there.
New 2014 Series The Ten Commandments by Rev DuBois
We Can Only Blame Ourselves. Pastor: Forgive my deep concern per the use of a simple term when referring to bible facts as “a story”. I honestly believe that ministers, Bible teachers and SS instructors (includes witnessing) have inadvertently made it easier for the anti Christ “world secularists” to use our own verbiage against us; and convincingly. I recently [July 27, 2013] checked something out on snopes.com. Below is a portion of what I stumbled upon on their website. (Awareness factor)
“All cultures have their forms of mythology, that is to say allegorical symbolism reflective of astronomy, agriculture, history, culture, and so on. Cosmic mythology existed among the Chinese, Hindus, Egyptians, Babylonians, Aztecs, Japanese, Irish, and many, many others, including the Hebrews. The biblical stories of the Old Testament and the New Testament are not *historical, but rather are tales [stories] reflective of Hebrew mythology. (their Understanding factor)
The biblical story of Christ is not historical; it is a tale of Hebrew mythology. Actually the Christ story is a mixture of Hebrew and Greek influences, descended from more ancient mythologies, but how we designate it, rather Hebrew or Greek or even Egyptian is not important because all of the ancient mythologies paralleled each other – they all told the same stories of the interactions of the cosmic lights under various cultural formats. Jesus was the sun, born on December 25th; under the allegorical symbolism incorporated by the early Hebrew or Hebrew-Christian mythologists. A human Jesus never lived, not under the name Jesus, or a name such as Jehoshua Ben Pandera or any other name – Jesus Christ never existed, period! The Christ story within the bible is an allegorical tale, just like the Greek stories of Zeus or Roman stories of Jupiter; anthropomorphic tales reflective of astronomical phenomena.
The biblical story of Jesus’ life, from birth to death, is symbolic of the path of the sun through the Zodiac in the course of one year; his birth life and death are written in the stars. His story is a myth styled after the patterns of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and others. As the story goes…”
ME: It may sound petty to hammer that the use of the word “story” as in Bible stories, very definitive in Christian circles, is simply an expression in secular circles, colleges, high and elementary schools and around campfires, and its use in Christian circles is damaging to outsiders entertaining the thought of Christianity. The above snope.com article is simply an example of many. We intend no damage by teaching, preaching and studying Bible stories, but the target market, the world, sees the word story as meaning the context is debatable as to its genuineness. All that Satan needs to do is to cast a bit of doubt in the mind of a person; i.e. it is only a story. (Convincing factor)
*If the secular world wishes to point out that bible stories are NOT HISTORICAL; i.e. some religious reality, the opposite is exactly what we should be teaching; i.e. Bible history… (facts supported by archeology, ancient historians, extra bible documents, stone and clay tablets all confirming Bible history…) The problem comes in when secularists agree with us i.e. Bible stories are in their reality... STORIES.
Again, it may sound petty to one who only preaches to the choir, but to the outside visitor with little or no Bible foundation it isn’t petty. S/he, while walking the halls of most churches and taught from most podiums, hears the word “story” and they will debate if it is only one’s reality or an actuality. They, as in the above example from snopes.com, listen unconvinced that what they heard from the Christian instructor is a matter of a fact of history. Why unconvinced? If s/he knew it was a matter of actuality, their choice to walk out the doors of any church or Bible study without accepting Jesus as his or her Savior would be a conscious rejection; not a mental debate of simply “that is the religious church’s or teachers reality, but not historical actuality.”
I admit it is very difficult shift in our ill-conceived paradigm use of the words “bible story” to only mean actuality. However, it is not the same for the outsider, the lost, him or her who is seeking something like a firm and solid foundation upon which to base his or her life. Remember that their perception is also their reality!
Am I determined to start a local, yet alone national campaign on what many reading this letter will simply dismiss out-of-hand. I am leaning toward… Probably! There is a learning pyramid through which everyone tests data; fact versus fiction. And I mean everyone, but some move more quickly than do others and many get hung up at the middle level.
This is the step-by-step process I use when witnessing, preparing a sermon or a lesson. If I leave out a step, the one I am seeking to disciple gets lost or stops listening. The process begins with AWARENESS then moves up from there.
If one is convinced that stories are not necessarily historical or factual, s/he will never get to the DESIRE for Christ step.
In this case, we are shamefully responsible.
We can see according to the above Learning Pyramid that each step increases one’s level or propensity to move up to the next step and ultimately, DESIRE and ACTION. If one gets hung up, as is the problem with witnessing and many alter calls, at the *convinced level, chances are slim s/he will have a desire to accept the Bible as total actuality. Instead of seeking to be Christ-like, s/he becomes Christianized. No desire for discipleship; to seek then use one’s spiritual gift(s).
*CONVINCED: Level three is not a conviction level as we propagate the Word of God. It is simpler than that. The individual is not yet convinced it is reality, perhaps just really nice a story. Conviction comes after being convinced what is shared from the Bible is NOT a story. It is a fact of life with two options at the end of life; one eternity but two separate destinies.
Wish to get it off your chest by pigeon-holing me as anything but correct? Perhaps you have a better way of stating my feeble attempt. Feel free so to do…email@example.com. My email inbox is open, but ask God first. What does your introspect tell you? Where are YOU on the Learning Pyramid per this little issue of “Bible stories” vs. Bible history? Convinced or not yet convinced? Desire to take the challenge? (Desire level. What you do about it from this point on is the action level of the Learning Pyramid. Inaction is an action. Is the cost (effort) to take corrective leadership too high? Yes, it will create opposition as paradigms are tough creatures. My proof of this is the reader's reaction/response to this article.
James W. Stark (Rev., M.M., Th.D.)
Cadillac, MI 49601