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eNews For The Week Of April 19, 2005


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In This Week’s Issue

In The News

Featured Product

Articles and Commentary

Memory Verse of the Week

Announcements


In The News

Links to interesting articles elsewhere

New Pope Elected

April 19, 2005

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a hard-line guardian of conservative doctrine, was elected the new pope Tuesday evening in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Pope Benedict XVI.

MSNBC

Temple Mount Relics Saved from Garbage

April 19, 2005

Israeli archaeologists and volunteers sifting through piles of rubble discarded by Islamic Wakf officials from the Temple Mount into a city garbage dump have recently uncovered a series of history-rich artifacts dating back to the First and Second Temple periods.

Jerusalem Post

Some Jews in Israel wary about New Pope

April 19, 2005

Some Jews in Israel professed concern over the choice of Joseph Ratzinger as pope because of his German origins and links to the Nazis of World War II.

USA Today


Questions?

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Articles And Commentary

The Shot Heard Round the World

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Ten years ago, on April 19, 1995 a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City - 168 people were killed, some of whom were children, and hundreds more were injured. Many have gathered at the Oklahoma City National Memorial in solemn remembrance of those who lost their lives in the explosion. Events such as the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11 attacks are not easily forgotten – as a nation they are forever sealed in our collective memory. However it will probably escape the attention of most that the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing also is the 230th anniversary of the battle of Lexington and Concord, which ignited the American Revolution.

Patriot's Day is celebrated annually on the third Monday in April. This often overlooked holiday is only recognized by three states (Massachusetts, Maine, and Wisconsin) and is marked most notably by the running of the Boston Marathon. Patriot's Day commemorates the battle of Lexington and Concord which took place on April 19, 1775. It was this famous revolutionary battle that was preceded by the midnight ride of Paul Revere and made immortal by the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote:

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world."

The battle of Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of America's war for independence. It was then the blood of the first American patriots was spilled. From that day until this, many of our men and women have willingly given their lives for the cause of freedom – in many wars, on many continents, with varying degrees of support from the home front.

The blood shed on September 11, 2001 became the catalyst in the war on terrorism. That tragic event briefly united Americans in a common cause, however that unity has splintered. National tragedy may have amalgamated the masses, but growing differences in values and philosophy have driven a wedge down the middle of American society. Americans are fighting a battle both in foreign lands and here at home. In the war against terrorism our enemy is easily defined, however the domestic battle lines are more muddled. As a nation we have begun to abandon the faith and values of our founding fathers.

Let us assess the State of the Union in the mirror of Gods Word. Homosexuality is accepted as simply "an alternative lifestyle." We murder babies that are socially inconvenient. We change marriage partners like a fashion statement. We have abandoned the sanctity of commitments in our families and in our businesses. Immorality and deceit have come to characterize the highest offices in our land. We have allowed God to be banished from public school classrooms and we have watched as religious expression is constrained under the auspices of "separation of church and state." Our mainline media takes pride in forming public opinion rather than informing it, which had been its sacred role in a representative republic. Our culture has disconnected character from destiny. Our entertainments celebrate adultery, fornication, violence, aberrant sexual practices and every imaginable form of evil. We have become the primary exporters of everything that God abhors.

Please take some time this week to pray for spiritual healing for our nation, wisdom for our leaders, and safety for our soldiers fighting overseas. Also, in honor of Patriot's Day, please take a moment to thank our military veterans and those in active military service for risking their lives for the cause of freedom.

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Egyptian Trash Contains Literary Treasures

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A trove of blackened, illegible manuscripts from an ancient garbage dump have defied scholars for over a hundred years. Now, thanks to infrared technology, these ancient texts are finally speaking. Over the past few days, a team from Oxford University has successfully deciphered pieces of works by Sophocles, Euripides, and Hesiod – and the treasure hunt has only begun.

Rendered unreadable by the decay of the centuries, thousands of papyri fragments were rescued from a trash heap in the Graeco-Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus in the late 1800s. Classics scholars have drooled over these manuscripts since their discovery, but have been able to translate only a relatively small number – until recently. Now, the papyri are being hauled out of storage at Oxford's Sackler Library and their faded words revealed for the first time.

While the words on the fragments are invisible under normal white light, infrared light reveals their ancient ink. Using a new technique developed from satellite imaging, each fragment is exposed to infrared light and photographed. There are 400,000 fragments in the Oxyrhynchus collection, and the project promises to take several years.

The majority of the fragments contain the paperwork of day-to-day life; letters, court records, tax information, shopping lists. However, even in just the last few days, portions of lost works by several famous Greek writers have been discovered. Researchers have recovered snatches of writings by Sophocles (famous for the play Oedipus Rex), Euripides, Hesiod, and Lucian. One find, a paragraph from an epic poem by Archilochos, dates to the 7th century B.C. - the century of Judah's kings Manasseh and Josiah.

Scholars speculate on finding lost Christian manuscripts among the thousands of fragments. If they do find previously unknown Christian "gospels" or letters, scholars will still have to investigate and debate the authority of such writings. On the whole, the collection will offer greater insight into the Greek and Roman culture of the pre-Christian and Christian era. The new information gleaned from the texts may help Biblical scholars more fully comprehend the world in which the Bible was written.

Dr Dirk Obbink, the Oxford academic directing the research, commented: "The Oxyrhynchus collection is of unparalleled importance - especially now that it can be read fully and relatively quickly. The material will shed light on virtually every aspect of life in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, and, by extension, in the classical world as a whole."

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The United States of Europe

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The European Union has steadily moved forward in its attempt to unite Europe politically and economically. It has succeeded in unifying and strengthening its economic market, creating a common currency, and establishing both a European legislative and judicial system. It has been suggested by some that the European Union may be the revived Roman Empire. Thus it is interesting to note that the introduction of the Euro is the first time since the days of Caesar and the Roman Empire that Europe has had a common currency, others have tried, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte, but none were successful.

Over the last few years we have watched closely as the European Union has emerged as a growing world power. The value of the Euro has surpassed that of the dollar, and in May the EU welcomed 10 new members, increasing its influence in the UN and expanding its potential for growth. The bitter debate over Iraq between the United States and the EU has been seen by many as a foreshadow of what is to come. A battle in which the EU, lead by France and Germany, is positioning itself to surpass the United States as the dominant world power.

Meanwhile, the battle over the new constitutional treaty continues. The European Union Constitution is an enormous document (474 pages in the English version) that is supposed to streamline the governance of a united Europe. It provides for all the trappings of a federal state, including an EU president, a foreign minister, a criminal court, a European prosecutor and a police force. It provides for the voices of all 25 member nations to be heard, from Germany with its population of 82 million to the island of Malta with its 400,000 citizens - and all 25 nations must ratify the document by the November 2006 deadline for the Constitution to go into effect.

This week Greece became the sixth country to ratify the new constitution. However many are concerned about upcoming referendum in France. According to opinion polls in France, between 53 and 56 percent of its citizens are opposed to the treaty. The new constitution also faces heavy opposition in Great Britain.

We will continue to observe with anticipation the historic developments taking place in Europe. There are still many obstacles the European Union must face on the road to solidarity, but in the eyes of some they have already accomplished the impossible. The once impenetrable wall between east and west, communist and free, is now gone, and in its place is a growing economic and political force.

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Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in these articles, enews and linked websites are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views held by Koinonia House. Koinonia House is providing this information as a resource to individuals who are interested in current news and events that may have an impact on Christian Life and Biblical trends. Koinonia House is not responsible for any information contained in these articles that may be inaccurate, or does not present an unbiased or complete perspective. Koinonia House disavows any obligation to correct or update the information contained in these articles.

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