greek manuscripts

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Jewish Antiquities

Jean Fouquet (141?-80?) was the greatest French painter of the 15th century. His genius is reflected in his illustrations of Jewish Antiquities, which Fouquet created for Jacques d’Armagnac, the Duke of Nemours. Fouquet traveled to Italy as a young man, where he learned to paint with great precision of detail and to use aerial perspective, but he continued to draw upon his native Touraine for many aspects of his art, especially forms and color. In these illustrations, his depiction of the siege of Jericho evokes a city on the banks of the Loire, while his Temple of Jerusalem resembles an altered Cathedral of Tours. Jewish Antiquitieswas written by the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (38?-100?) and recounts the history of the Jewish people from Creation to the outbreak of the Jewish revolt against the Romans in A.D. 66. Composed in Greek and translated into Latin, the book was read by the early Christians and remained popular with both Christians and Jews. This manuscript belonged to the French king Francis I (1494-1547), who confiscated it in 1523 from Charles III, the Duke of Bourbon (1490-1527).

Byzantine Museum of Ioannina:

Manuscript of the Gospels. Silver covered wooden binding (1575). Molyvdoskepastos-Ioannina. Monastery of Koimesis Theotokou.  

anonymous asked:

There are plenty of gay people who don't get married and don't have sex. Therefore, no sin is being committed. Not to mention the fact that the Bible has been translated, and in the original Bible, there is no word for homosexuality. It actually says "male prostitution". So even if a gay couple did get married or have sex, it may not even be a sin. (Keep in mind that I am a Christian as well, and have heavily studied the subject because I am also a panromantic asexual).

I never said a homosexual person who doesn’t act on homosexuality is guilty of sin. Please don’t put words in my mouth or make assumptions. If a person is homosexual but does not engage in homosexual relationships and does not give into lustful thoughts and/or masturbation as a result of homosexual desires, you’re right, no sin has been committed. Just like a heterosexual person who struggles with lust isn’t committing sin if they fight against lustful thoughts and don’t engage in premarital sex. Just like a person who struggles with desires to commit theft isn’t committing a sin if they resist stealing. Just like a person who struggles with the urge to gossip isn’t sinning if they resist gossiping. Having a temptation or tendency for a particular sin doesn’t mean you’ve committed a sin - choosing to act on those desires and engage in sinful behavior is a sin.

You saying you’ve “heavily studied” the subject doesn’t prove anything if your sources are not based in truth. My impression is your studying comes from biased sources that have the agenda of contorting the Word for the purpose of redefining sin and claiming homosexuality isn’t a sin (because in my experience, the claims you’re making here always come from those who want to approve of homosexuality as Christians instead of accepting the Word’s truth on this topic).

These claims you’re making are not anything I haven’t heard before. The claims you’re making are dangerous as well, as you’re trying to contort the Word to redefine sin as you want it to be defined instead of how He defined it. The translations of the Word are loyal to the original texts/manuscripts. In your argument here, people try to dissect and redefine what Paul said, claiming he was referring to “male prostitution” instead of homosexuality. I see no evidence to suggest this notion and even if it did translate to this (which it doesn’t - I will get into it later in this response), there’s not just one verse Christians refer to in the Bible when they state that homosexuality is defined by Him as a sin. There are multiple areas of the Bible - both in the Old and New Testaments - that refer to homosexuality as a sin. Are you going to go with the claim that all these passages are talking about “male prostitutes” instead of what it’s actually referring to? Or are you going to choose to act like these passages do not exist?

The reason “homosexual” didn’t literally appear in the original texts and appears in later English translations is because the word “homosexual” didn’t exist yet. See the following:

“In English the word homosexual was first used in 1892 in the English translation of Krafft-Ebing’s “Psychopathia sexualis”(x)


A word that didn’t exist in the English language until 1892 clearly wouldn’t be have a direct equivalent word in Greek original Biblical texts/manuscripts that are from long before 1892. Nor would it be present in English translations of the Bible prior to the creation/use of that word. That’s why there isn’t the exact word “homosexual” literally in the original texts. But that doesn’t mean that the meaning of that word isn’t being directly discussed and referred to in scripture. It doesn’t mean that the action of homosexual relations isn’t being described and referred to in the verses that address homosexuality. Just because the word itself didn’t exist yet isn’t an argument to dismiss the Word’s clear stance on homosexuality.

1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 refer directly to homosexuality being a sin. The word “homosexual” is used in one of these verses, the other uses “men who have sex with men” (also depends on the translation, but you’re either going to see homosexual or men who have sex with men - different word(s), same meaning). In both verses, the original Greek word to refer to homosexual is ἀρσενοκοίτης or arsenokoites. If you go to Greek dictionaries, you will find the following:

ἀρσενοκοίτης arsenokoítēs; gen. arsenokoítou, masc. noun, from ársēn (730), a male, and koítē (2845), a bed. A man who lies in bed with another male, a homosexual (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10 [cf. Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:27]). Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.


You can see various other definitions provided in this article discussing this very topic. They provide very thorough commentary about this topic, which may be useful for you to read if you’re interested.

Let’s also look at other sources for meanings of this Greek word:

ἀρσενοκοίτης: From ἄρσην (ársēn, “male”) and κοι-, o-grade stem of κεῖμαι (keîmai, “lie”), +‎ -της (-tēs, masculine agentive suffix), thus “a male who lies with males.” (x)


ἀρσενοκοίτης, ἀρσενοκοιτου, ὁ (ἄρσην a male; κοίτη a bed), one who lies with a male as with a female, a sodomite: 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10. (Anthol. 9, 686, 5; ecclesiastical writings.) (x)


ἀρσενοκοίτης, ου, ὁ, Noun, Masculine  a male engaging in same-gender sexual activity; a sodomite, pederast.From: Public Domain Greek-English lexicon by John Jeffrey Dodson (2010) (x)


It’s clear that the Word is referring to homosexuality in these verses. The original Greek proves this. These verses prove that homosexual relations are deemed by Him as sinful and since He defined that marriage is between a man and a woman, this is further confirmation that both homosexual marriage and intercourse are against His will. Whichever sources you got your information from are clearly biased and are not basing their claims in the Word. Rather, it seems their agenda is to excuse something He defined as a sin instead of acknowledging what the Word actually says. It’s a serious offense in His eyes to remove from or add to the Word in any way. I would strongly advise you to avoid this kind of false teaching and follow what the Word truly says.

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The Earliest Greek Alphabet, Cyprus, c. 800 BC

The tablets are in Greek on copper, consisting of 2 tablets with 20-23 lines in archaic Greek capitals with some North Semitic (Phoenician) letter forms, written by 2 or more scribes. This is the oldest European alphabet, the oldest writing tablets extant, and part of the world’s oldest book in codex form. A third tablet originally bound with the present ones is housed at the University of Würzburg, Martin-von-Wagner-Museum; a fourth is owned by a private collector. The codex originally consisted of at least 5 tablets.

The tablets were made in Cyprus but were excavated in Fayum, Egypt. The alphabet on the plaques is now called the Fayum alphabet and the earliest Greek manuscript extant. It is an alphabet table that is contemporary with Homer and an amazing preservation of students’ learning of the Greek alphabet at the very inception of its use. Apart from the present manuscript, the oldest Greek inscription of any length is the Dipylon oinochoe from Athens, c. 740 BC.

With Hermes Trismegistus we seem to get somewhat nearer to genuine ancient Egypt. For the Egyptians the god Thoth was the inventor of all science, the guardian of the secrets of past and future, not least the master of the magic arts. Plato already wrote about him (Phaedrus, 274cf.; Philebus, i8bf.) as the ‘father of letters’, transcribing his name as ‘Theuth’. Thoth was also the helper of the dead. All this suggested to the Greeks (and the Romans) an identification with their Hermes (or Mercurius). Later speculation made him one of several of this name, the ‘thrice greatest’ Hermes (a clumsy translation of an actual Egyptian attribute) who in some treatises was introduced as writing to his son ‘Tat’ (obviously = Thoth). Numerous books went under his name; the late Neoplatonic philosopher Iamblichus mentions in his work on the Egyptian mysteries (viii. i) astronomical numbers (20,000, 36,525) alleged to have been written by him. There may really have been Egyptian books claiming this authorship, but the Hermetica which were handed down to us obviously originated in Roman Imperial times, most probably between A.D. 150 and 300. Details of an astrological, alchemical, or magical nature which they contain might be derived from ancient Egyptian tradition. But their main body of mystic-theosophical philosophy seems pure late-Hellenistic, anti-rationalistic syncretism typical of late antiquity, although set in Egyptian scenery and presented by pseudo-Egyptian personalities. One might almost draw a parallel with the Magic Flute, where contemporary Freemasonry similarly paraded its pretended antiquity in an old-Egyptian setting. However, like Horapollo’s Hieroglyphica, the Corpus Hermeticum also was taken at its face value (already by the Latin Fathers of the Church) and Hermes Trismegistus was accepted as the great prophet of remote antiquity, slightly younger, if not even older, than Moses, and at any rate much older than Pythagoras, Orpheus, or Plato, who all learned from him. When Greek manuscripts began to arrive in Renaissance Florence of the fifteenth century, the Hermetica were given precedence in being hurriedly translated into Latin while the works of Plato took only second place.
—  Quoted from: The Legacy of Egypt (edited by J.R.Harris) - Oxford University Press 1971; “Mystery, Myth, and Magic” (by A.A.Barb)

anonymous asked:

Why should I chose Christ instead of Buddhism?

Compared with Buddhism, Christianity has several distinguishing features that show that it deserves consideration.

First, while both Christianity and Buddhism have an historical central figure, namely Jesus and Buddha, only Jesus is shown to have risen from the dead. Many people in history have been wise teachers. Many have started religious movements. Siddhartha Guatama, the historical Buddha also called Sakyamuni, stands out among them for having special wisdom and a profound philosophy of life. But Jesus also stands out, and He has confirmed His spiritual teachings with a test that only divine power could pass. Jesus’ body of teachings is confirmed by the death and resurrection of His literal body—a fact which He prophesied and fulfilled in Himself (Matthew 16:21;20:18-19;Mark 8:31;1Luke 9:22;John 20-21;1 Corinthians 15). Jesus deserves special consideration.

Second, the Christian Scriptures are historically outstanding, deserving serious consideration. One could even say that the history of the Bible is so compelling that to doubt the Bible is to doubt history itself since the Bible is the most historically verifiable book of all antiquity. The only book more historically verifiable than the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) is the New Testament. Consider the following:

1) More manuscripts exist for the New Testament than for any other of antiquity—5,000 ancient Greek manuscripts, 24,000 in all including other languages. The multiplicity of manuscripts allows for a tremendous research base by which we can test the texts against each other and identify what the originals said.

2) The manuscripts of the New Testament are closer in age to the originals than are any other document of antiquity. All of the originals were written within the time of the contemporaries (eyewitnesses), in the first century A.D., and we currently have parts of manuscript dating back to A.D. 125. Whole book copies surface by A.D. 200, and the complete New Testament can be found dating back to A.D. 250. Having all the books of the New Testament initially written within the times of eyewitnesses means that the books did not have time to devolve into myth and folklore. Plus, their truth claims were held accountable by members of the Church who, as personal witnesses to the events, could check the facts.

3) The New Testament documents are more accurate than any other of antiquity. John R. Robinson inHonest to Godreports that the New Testament documents are 99.9 percent accurate (most accurate of any complete antique book). Bruce Metzger, an expert in the Greek New Testament, suggests a more modest 99.5 percent.

Third, Christian ethics has a stronger foundation than Buddhist ethics. Christian ethics is founded in the personal character of God. God is personal and moral. His nature is good, and therefore all actions which align with His goodness are actually good. Whatever departs from His goodness is actually evil. For Buddhists, however, ultimate reality is not understood as personal. But morality by its very nature requires personality. To illustrate, consider the morality of a rock. One does not blame a rock for being used in a murder since it is not a person with moral duties. Rather, the moral duty lies with the person who used that rock for evil purposes. Buddhism lacks the personal framework for moral duty. With Buddhism, karma is the framework for morality. But karma is impersonal. It is akin to a law of nature. Breaking a karmic “rule” is not intrinsically evil. There seems to be no significant difference between error (non-moral mistakes) and sin (moral wrongdoing).

Furthermore, many Buddhists even assert that the dualities of “good” and “evil” ultimately break down. “Good” and “evil” would be part ofmaya, the illusory world of sensory reality. The categories of morality are not grand enough to map onto ultimate reality, and enlightened individuals will see that good and evil blur into one. But such a position means that ultimate reality would not be “good.” It wouldn’t be “evil” either, but then what assurance exists that “ultimate reality” is even a worthwhile pursuit? And what grounds would there be for living a morally good life as opposed to an amoral life without regard for moral distinctions, or an inactive life avoiding moral choices as much as possible? If Buddhism asserts that reality is not ultimately personal and the distinctions between good and evil are not actually real, then Buddhism does not have a true foundation for ethics. Christianity, on the other hand, can point to the character of God as personally founding morality and providing a basis to distinguish good from evil.

Fourth, Christianity rightly appreciates “desire.” Buddhist ethics seems to have a core difficulty at this point. Sakyamuni taught thattanha, “desire” or “attachment,” is the root of suffering and is to be dissolved. But some admittedly good things are based on the idea of desire. Love, for example, is “to desire the good of another” (John 15:13;1 John 4:7-12). One could not even love unless one had a degree of attachment in desiring someone else’s well-being. In contrast, Christianity teaches that desire is good when it is properly directed. Paul urges Christians to “desire the greater gifts” of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:31;14:1). In the Psalms, we see pictures of worshipers longing for and desiring fellowship with God (Psalm 42:1-2;84). And, of course, God does not simply act loving, He is love (1 John 4:9;Psalm 136;John 3:16). Sacrificing desire altogether seems to throw out the proverbial baby (love) with the dirty bathwater (suffering).

Fifth is the question “What do you do with your sin?” Buddhism has at least two ideas of sin. Sin is sometimes understood as ignorance. It is sinful if one does not see or understanding reality as Buddhism defines it. However, in Buddhism, there is still an idea of moral error termed “sin.” To do something deliberately evil, to break a spiritual or earthly law, or to desire wrong things, these would be identifiable sins. But, this latter definition of sin points to a kind of moral error that requires real atonement. From where can atonement rise? Can atonement come by adherence to karmic principles? Karma is impersonal and amoral. One could do good works to even the balance, but one cannot ever dispose of sin. Karma does not even provide a context whereby moral error is even moral. Whom have we offended if we sin in private? Karma does not care one way or the other because karma is not a person. Can atonement come by prayer or devotion to a Bodhisattva or a Buddha? Even if those characters could offer forgiveness, it seems like sin would still be left unpaid. They would forgive sin showing it to be excusable; it is not a big deal.

Christianity, on the other hand, has the only adequate theological view of sin. In Christianity sin is moral error. Ever since Adam, humans have been sinful creatures. Sin is real. And it sets an infinite gap between man and bliss. Sin demands justice. But it cannot be “balanced out” with an equal or greater amount of good works. If someone has ten times more good works than bad works, then he or she still has bad works on the conscience. What happens to these remaining bad works? Are they just forgiven as if they were not a big deal in the first place? Are they permitted into bliss? Are they mere illusions thus leaving no problem whatsoever? None of these options are suitable.

Concerning illusion, sin is too real to us to be explained away as illusion. Concerning our sinfulness, when we are honest with ourselves we all know that we have sinned. Concerning forgiveness, to simply forgive sin at no cost treats sin like it is not of much consequence even though we know that to be false. Concerning bliss, bliss is not much good if sin keeps getting smuggled in. It seems like the scales of karma leave us with sin on our hearts and bliss either cannot tolerate us, or it must cease being perfect so that we can come in.

Christianity has an answer for sin. No sin goes unpunished, but the punishment has already been satisfied in Christ’s personal sacrifice on the cross. God became man, lived a perfect life, and died the death that we deserved. He was crucified on our behalf, a substitute for us, and a covering, or atonement, for our sins. Furthermore, He was resurrected, proving that not even death could conquer Him. He promises the same resurrection unto eternal life for all who put their faith in Him as their only Lord and Savior (Romans 3:10,23;6:23;8:12;10:9-10;Ephesians 2:8-9;Philippians 3:21).

This is no “easy believism” where God, like a janitor, just cleans up all our mistakes. Rather, this is a life-long commitment where we take on a new nature and begin a new relationship with God Himself (Romans 6:1;Ephesians 2:1-10). When a person really believes God is who He says He is in the Bible, and really believes God did what He says He did in the Bible, and a person puts his or her life on that belief—that person is transformed. He becomes a new creation by the power of God (2 Corinthians 5:17). You cannot stay the same once you have that belief. One could just as easily continue reading the morning paper after realizing his house was on fire. That knowledge (the house is on fire) motivates action and changes your life (stop reading the paper and do something about the fire).

Nor is Jesus simply an answer among many others. All the world’s religions have some level of truth in them, but ultimately, Jesus is the only answer to the human condition. Meditation, works, prayer—none of these can make us worthy of the infinite and eternal gift of heaven. None of these can undo the sin we’ve done. Only when Christ pays our sin debt and we place our faith in Him can we be saved. Only then is sin covered, hope assured, and life filled with eternal meaning.

Finally, it is only in Christianity that we can know that we are saved. We do not have to rely on some fleeting experience, nor do we rely on our own good works or fervent meditation. Nor do we put our faith in a false god whom we are trying to “believe-into-existence.” We have a living and true God, an historically anchored faith, an abiding and testable revelation of God (Scripture), and a guaranteed home in heaven with God.

So, what does this mean for you? Jesus is the ultimate reality! Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for your sins. God offers all of us forgiveness and salvation if we will simply receive His gift to us (John 1:12), believing Jesus to be the Savior who laid down His life for us, His friends. If you place your trust in Jesus as your Savior, you will have absolute assurance of eternal life in heaven. God will forgive your sins, cleanse your soul, renew your spirit, give you abundant life in this world, and eternal life in the next world. How can we reject such a precious gift? How can we turn our backs on God who loved us enough to sacrifice Himself for us?

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Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens:

Temporary exhibition: “Domenikos Theotokopoulos before El Greco”

Bulla issued by Pope Leo X on the privileges of the Greeks. Printed by Antonio Vortolis in Greek, Venice, 1755. Reissue of the papal bulla (1521) in favour of the Uniate Greeks, forbidding Latin priests to celebrate mass in Orthodox churches and Latin bishops to ordain Greek clergy. Loaned by the Alexandros Onasis Public Benefit Foundation.

Musical manuscript possibly from Crete with Latin hymns in Greek. It was used in the ceremonial of the Holy Week processions, in which the faithful of both churches (Catholic/Orthodox) took part. Loaned by the Platytera Monasteri, in Kerkyra. (mid17th century)

An illustrated manuscript by scholar and painter Georgios Klontzas, with texts of a historical and prophetic nature. The scene depicts a religious procession (litany) which took place in Chandax (Candia) on the second Thursday after Pentecost, the day on which the feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated with the participation of the Authorities and the entire population of the city. Loaned by the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, in Venice. (1590-92)

Part of the exhibition about Cretan culture from the 16th to the 17th century.

Banquet of the Gods in the Ambrosian Iliad

A leaf from a Greek manuscript containing the Iliad with a banquet of the gods and goddesses of Olympus after they debate whether or not to help the Greeks. In the center, Hephaestus offers a goblet to Hera.

Ink and tempera on vellum.

Made in the 5th century at Constantinople. Currently held at the Ambrosian Library in Milan.

If you’ve been following the Greek financial crisis, you’ve certainly seen that old cliché “it’s all Greek to me” in the headlines. Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer says Shakespeare probably popularized the phrase, but he didn’t actually come up with it. Its true origin is a bit of a mystery, though Zimmer says there’s a pretty good guess:

Back in the days before the printing press, medieval monks would copy old Latin manuscripts to preserve them, but the Greek alphabet threw them for a loop.

“And so if they were copying a Latin manuscript, and they came across a Greek quotation in a manuscript, they might have trouble actually trying to copy that part,” Zimmer says. “And so as a kind of a cop-out, they might just write in Latin, Graecum est, non legitur, which means, ‘This is Greek. It cannot be read.’ ”

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Image: Greek flags fly beside those of the European Union in Athens. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The Bern Physiologus is a 9th-century illuminated copy of the Latin translation of the Physiologus (a didactic text written or compiled in Greek by an unknown author, in Alexandria).

It was probably produced at Reims. It is believed to be a copy of a 5th-century manuscript. Many of its miniatures are set, unframed, into the text block, which was a characteristic of late-antique manuscripts. It is one of the oldest extant illustrated copies of the Physiologus.

image: chapter XXX, Panther

Museum of Byzantine Culture (Thessaloniki):

Liturgical manuscript (1638)