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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/13/2018 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    @Srecko Sostar Nothing of which you posted even states the claim of inspired prophet. The constant flailing coupled with the rehashing of what was already posted does not do much in your favor. Therefore, the claim of inspired prophet remains unfounded. You wouldn't catch a Non-Trinitarian say they are an inspired prophet anywhere. Also it shows you clearly do not know the difference between a prophet and an inspired prophet - that is rather telling. That alone tells you were you sit in regards to Spiritual Wisdom.
  2. 2 points
    I think you mean that Satan is too clever for humans for them to detect his subtle "machinations? Yes, if that is what you meant. Certainly Adam amd Eve were overcome although Adam was not deceived. Jesus was not deceived either, and his defence of "It is written" stood him in good stead. Those who acted as a restraint in the 1st Century were not deceived, thanks to Jehovah's existing word and the gift of discernment. But some others of their contemporaries and eventually the vast majority of their successors were deceived.. Your focus of 1940, 70, 90, etc is too narrow for me, although i presume you are just using those decades as an example to illustrate your point that yesterday's "truth" becomes tomorrow's "lies"?. I suppose the most prominent example would be how adherents to the Mosaic Law, once God's "chosen people", became his enemies by clinging on once that arrangement became redundant. The new system scrolls and their impact will be interesting, (Rev 20:12), and of course the implications of Christ's subjecting himself even more so. (1Cor.15:28). I would like to see a chart indicating the relevant proportionate value of teachings whilst at the same time indicating what has changed, what has remained constant from the first Century. I might put it together myself one of these days. ?
  3. 2 points
    Tell me about. Ever had a guy threaten you with a Machete up close, moving about in a sword dance like fashion? Believe me, it took some time to calm the guy down because he came talking about things he read online and painted a crazy picture of us in his head. Some brothers and sisters get it bad, even back in the day during the 1940s some were hunted in the same sense the KKK hunted African Americans. I believe one brother had been cut in a way that part of him had been removed. Even today it is bad and for some brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe it is far worse.
  4. 2 points
    Interesting stuff, especially the difference between Chi Rho and Tau Rho. Howeve,r he states: "2)............the earliest uses of the tau-rho are not as such free-standing symbols, but form part of a special way of writing the Greek words for “cross” (stauros) and “crucify” (stauro-o), in NT texts which refer to the crucifixion of Jesus. 3) The tau-rho is not an allusion to the word “christos“. Indeed, the letters have no relation to any terms in early Christian vocabulary. Instead, the device (adapted from pre-Christian usage) seems to have served originally as a kind of pictographic representation of the crucified Jesus, the loop of the rho superimposed on the tau serving to depict the head of a figure on a cross. 4) So, contra the common assumption taught in art history courses, the earliest visual reference to the crucified Jesus isn’t 5th century intaglia, but this scribal device employed by ca. 200 CE. There's no denying that this scribal device is employed in some early Greek Scripture manuscripts. How early? With occurences, for example, at Luke 9:23; 14:27, P75 of the Bodmer Papyrii (imaged earlier) was originally dated as 175-200CE,. This early assignment has been recently challenged, where some favour a later date closer to the 4th Century. Other evidences, such as Chester Beatty's P45 manuscript is dated about 250CE, and contains this device at Matt.26:2 and also Luke 14:27. A further papyrus in the Bodmer colllection, P66, contains the staurogram in at least ten places in the papyrus (corresponding to chapter 19 of John's Gospel. Like P75, this papyrus is subject to similar discussion on it's antiquity, being more recently proposed as originating "in the early or middle part of the fourth century." So, basically, we have a scribal insertion of a contemporary "Christian " symbol some 135-300 years after the establishing of the Christian congregation at Pentecost 33CE . However, a disturbing comment is made regarding the staurogram on the Bible History Today page cited in the earlier post by @JWInsider at
      Hello guest!
    : "The tau-rho staurogram, like other christograms, was originally a pre-Christian symbol. A Herodian coin featuring the Staurogram predates the crucifixion. Soon after, Christian adoption of staurogram symbols served as the first visual images of Jesus on the cross." Larry Hurtado confirms this when discussing the Tau-Rho among other "Christian" symbols as he states: "these are all pre-Christian devices and were appropriated by early Christians." He also says "P45, P66 and P75 offer us evidence of a Christian appropriation of the tau-rho device that (whatever and whenever its origin) was already becoming familiar in Christian circles at the time that these copyists worked." (Quotes from The Staurogram in Early Christian Manuscripts: The Earliest Visual Reference to the Crucified Jesus?) Reference is made to Herodian coins issued about 37 BCE where the Tau Rho appears (apparently as some sort of date code?) , Jack Finegan, (The Archaeology of the New Testament. 1969) is referenced by Hurtado. In his book section The Cross. Abbreviations and Monograms, among other things, he cited Egyptian influences on the development and use of the Staurogram, likening it to the Egyptian ankh, a symbol of life. He presents an memorial inscription from a 4th Century tomb at Armant near Luxor on the NIle. Here the staurogram symbol is presented on the bottom 3rd right in line with the ankh and the Chi Rho symbol, (another "christogram). An additional aspect is the proposed influence of the use of isosephy in formulating the staurogram. This practice, known also as gematria, seeks to find numeric relationships in words and concepts by assigning numeric values to letters and thus to words, then looking for parrallel meanings. An attempt is made to equate this to the reckoning of the wild beast's number of 666 in Rev.13:18. "Christian" Isosephists equate this number to the value determined for the name "Nero", their interpretation then misinterpreting the scripture. The staurogram is thus said by some to have a mystical significance in this regard. The whole practice has a ring of divination about it. Although Hurtado does not promote this view, it is not rejected as a contributory factor. Whilst interesting and formidably detailed, these speculations on the early uses of staurogram symbols are not very convincing as to their relevance to genuine Christianity. It just cannot be that difficult to find the truth, if it is actually there. It seems that an early date for the use of these symbols as some propose is not clear at all, as the relevant papyrii whilst significantly old, are of disputed antiquity. There appears to be a pagan and superstitious influence at work in the appropriation of these symbols, for obscure reasons. It is clear from scripture that definite attempts to distort and corrupt the true Christian faith were well under way from earliest times, prior to the adoption of the "staurogram". Paul warns that "the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work", Peter warns that "the ignorant and unstable are twisting the...Scriptures", and John warns that "even now, many antichrists have appeared". (Before we even get to Rev. Ch.2-3). The scriptures have no word for cross as such. Both stauros and xylon are simple words to understand, as is the background for the necessity of the use of this method for Christ's execution. There is no definitive way to conclude the exact nature of the instrument of Christ's death. The existence of the dispute complicates and obscures the very reason for Christ's sacrifice, a paucity of understanding on this matter being a prominent feature of many two-beamed cross promoters. On that basis, I remain satisfied with the scriptural description as far as it goes, and the conclusion we draw on the likelihood of a single stake being the instrument of Christ's death. I will not be adding an extra beam to the account at this stage. ?
  5. 1 point
    Pretty much Restorationism to the roots. You learn and apply just as the church has done in the past.
  6. 1 point
    The problem with the GB is that they don't approve anointed or not anointed JWs to come with alternative explanations to Bible verses. You just have to accept as JW the explanations GB provides how silly or stupid they sound. And you can not question a particular GB explanation. If you do that you are not allowed to be a part of the JW congregation any more. Why that? I remember it was explained as if you don't trust GB, then you don't trust God or Jesus.
  7. 1 point
    I have trouble finding evidence of that. Can you post some links? It interests me because so far I have seen plenty of evidence that cross like symbols (especially the Ankh and Greek) are found in ancient artifacts, of the near east, and far east, but they never seem to be connected to any type of implement for torture or execution, but rather to jewellery, decoration, literature, and ritualistic and religious aspects. If a cross was used in execution I would have expected to see at least one representation of it, since people had no qualms about representing other gruesome scenes, such as people impaled (through the body) on a stake etc. I take it back, I did see one, which is supposed to be Dionysus/Bacchus but I haven't been able to find out exact information about it only that it is supposed to be from 500 BCE. And a Vase, which is supposed to be also depicting Dionysus/Bacchus crucified. But I can't see that. I agree with the explanation given in that thread "It's significance was to antropomoriphize the idol as it would allow Dionysus to return to the world and participate in the ritual sacrifice and marriage to a queen. Before the idol are loaves of bread and jugs of wine, blessed by Dionysus himself". Also: " There's other vases from around the same period in which a choir of dithyrambs gather around a cross-shaped altar, and children carry a cross behind the carriage of the soon to be married queen". It looks like the thread has quite an interesting discussion, but I have not really had the time to read all the posts, just a couple.
      Hello guest!
    So I am still looking for an artifact depicting torture/execution involving a cross or cross like shape. There seems to be plenty of talk of Romans having adopted the cross for execution from the Assyrians and Babylonians, but I can't find anything resembling a cross used in that way in those cultures. Assyrian execution - impalement through body on upright stakes (cir 911-612 BCE)
  8. 1 point
    example 1) "Those who do not read can hear, for God has on earth today a prophetlike organization, just as he did in the days of the early Christian congregation."Watchtower 1964 Oct 1 p.601 example 2) "So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? IDENTIFYING THE "PROPHET" These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? ... This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses. ... Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a "prophet" of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. Thus this group of anointed followers of Jesus Christ, doing a work in Christendom paralleling Ezekiel's work among the Jews, were manifestly the modern-day Ezekiel, the "prophet" commissioned by Jehovah to declare the good news of God's Messianic kingdom and to give warning to Christendom."Watchtower 1972 Apr 1 pp.197-199 'They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them' example 3) "commissioned to serve as the mouthpiece and active agent of Jehovah … commission to speak as a prophet in the name of Jehovah…" The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah" - How? pp.58,62 Prophecy Definition: An inspired message; a revelation of the divine will and purpose. Prophecy may be a prediction of something to come, inspired moral teaching, or an expression of a divine command or judgment. -Reasoning book False Prophets Definition: Individuals and organizations proclaiming messages that they attribute to a superhuman source but that do not originate with the true God and are not in harmony with his revealed will. - Reasoning book If Someone Says— ‘My minister said that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the false prophets’ You might reply: ‘May I ask, Did he show you anything in the Bible that describes what we believe or do and that says people of that sort would be false prophets? . . . May I show you how the Bible describes false prophets? (Then use one or more of the points outlined on pages 132-136.)’ Or you could say: ‘I’m sure you’ll agree that specific evidence should back up such a serious charge. Did your minister mention any specific examples? (If householder refers to some claimed “predictions” that did not come to pass, use material on page 134, and from the bottom of page 135 to the top of 137.)’ Another possibility: ‘I’m sure that if someone accused you of something similar, you would welcome the opportunity at least to explain your position or point of view, wouldn’t you? . . . So may I show you from the Bible . . . ?’ True prophets and the false can be recognized by the fruitage manifest in their lives and the lives of those who follow them - Reasoning book Here we can see how WT never clearly making statement how JW organization is not prophet-like organization or God's mouthpiece organization. GB are not rejecting existence of true prophets in this modern times. They only rejecting accusations about claims how they, GB and JW members are viewed as FALSE prophets. WT reject only word FALSE in connection to prophets. By quoted WT articles JW organization stand on quiet and shy claim that JW are "prophets" (of some sort), because they manifest fruitage in their lives, because JW revealing divine will and purpose, because JW spreading inspired moral teaching, because JW announcing divine command or judgment. This specific Organized worldwide activity support self vision on own importance in this role as "prophet-like" agents.
  9. 1 point
    There you have it, then! Not only is the return of the Lord just around the corner, it is clear done and gone per this understanding. Either way, my point stands: that John is clearly smoking something if he if likens the Governing Body to ones complaining that the Master is delaying. Will this understanding of the early twentieth century stand the test of time? We will see. It's all very well to be second-guessing and sniping those taking the lead if it is in addition to participating in the disciple gathering activity Christ commanded. Hopefully, that is the case with you. Far more often, though, such pontificating is instead of participation, with the ones carrying on so imagining they are discernment personified. One can always go join someone else's preaching campaign. I hear that the Independence Day Church just translated their website into Pig Latin.
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    This is tragic. This is coming from someone who got into Spider-man and X-Men when I first came to America as a child. The concern also prior to his death, there was talk about mistreatment and a woman trying to get money from him back in April I believe regarding sexual assault. The man has already had issues with his greedy daughter and a list of other things, but what kept him going was his fans.
  12. 1 point
    via .ORGWorld News
  13. 1 point
    John, instead of focusing on Watchtower faults, do not you think it would be more beneficial to use that energy in the study of the Word of God? After all, you can not fight against windmills. (I am sure that you actually study, but the time you spend on research on Watchtower can be use better, I think) Me too at the beginning I was very critical, but I realise now that it is a waste of time. Moreover, you will never succeed in convincing a witness because he is completely under the control of the Governing Body. Therefore, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes. He will bring the secret things of darkness to light and make known the intentions of the hearts, and then each one will receive his praise from God.
  14. 1 point
    Very well worded and to the point. Fabulous comment. Thank you Srecko.
  15. 1 point
    Actually I am facing up to my responsibilities more that most JW's that remains in the Org. I'm making it known how disgusting the GB and the JW Org is right now. Plus, on here and elsewhere, I'm learning 'new truth' about the lies and deceit the Governing Body have used to mislead people. My eyes have been opened wide to the rotten dictatorship of the GB. I think they will be removed, it's just a matter of time. Matthew 24 v 48 through 51. I'm scared of nothing because if i am totally wrong I feel God will forgive me. Take for example Saul that became the Apostle Paul. Saul thought he was serving God but Jesus Christ showed Saul the right way. So, if i am totally wrong then I have hope in God that His Christ will guide me to the right way. However at the moment I feel i am doing what God wants me to do. Please be aware however, i do not want the JW Org to be destroyed. I want it to be made clean by God through Jesus Christ.
  16. 1 point
    If you by Christians means only JW, then i would make this kind of observation. JW members in each period of time received and accepted "The Truth" as it was in the specific moment when they became JW. So, if someone been baptized in 1940 period, for him "The Truth" was been in one shape and form. For those in 1970 period, shape and form looks different then few decades before. For those in 1990 era, "The Truth" also changed shape and form in comparison to generations before, ....and until today same process is going on as well. We can call it "new light", "new understanding", "rowing" or with any other terminology that can arise and be invented, incorporated for justification why new interpretations are better, more accurate than old one. To connect your comment and mine. Strategy by satan is to much perfidious for humans, to be able aware of apostasy. If JW of 1940 era thought how they clearly saw difference between two teachings and was sure how they had "The Truth", then how is possible that JW from 1970 era saw false teaching about 1940 JW brothers, and how is possible that 1990 era brothers was also been able to detected all false teaching that satan used in JW past periods for purpose to undermine and pollute previous periods of pure teachings of WT? And now modern JW also can see how his brothers from 1990 period was been under influence of teachings that was been undermined and polluted by satan, again. What if process of never ending "new understanding" is nothing else but constantly present impact and process caused by devil and his influence by which he "poisoning" every "new understanding" in different proportions ?
  17. 1 point
    By "however" I mean that whilst Hurtado draws strongly held conclusions from the arguments he presents, we need tp keep in mind that he recognises that: by "the earliest use" he means "the earliest use" by Bible copyists he points out that "the device (adapted from pre-Christian usage)" also proposes that "this scribal device employed by ca. 200 CE" Anything that implies a tampering with the Scriptural text (other than chapters and verses and obvious technical devices for ease of use), I treat with suspicion. Christians are fully aware of the subtle strategy employed by Satan and his agents to undermine and pollute pure teachings of true Christianity through apostasy, (likened to "gangrene" 2Tim.2:17). Paul at Gal.2:4 speaks of apostates as having been "smuggled in" (pareisaktous), having "crept in" (pareiselthon). 2Pet. 2:1 speaks of them "smuggling in" (pareisaxousin) their "sects" (haireseis). The fact that this infiltration was well under way long before the employment of "staurogram" in the Scripture text, undermines the integrity of drawing conclusions on doctorine based on what indisputedly are later additions. Attractive though "schadenfreude" may be to those prone to such indulgences, it is really against the sprit of true worship and has long been identified as an undesirable trait, (compare "You should not gloat over your brother’s day on the day of his misfortune" Ob.12). I am quite sure we can say in confidence that we "did not learn the Christ to be like this" Eph.4:20. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the fascinating nature of the detail on this topic, bearing in mind the one who is often likely to be found in there! Thanks for the research tips. ?
  18. 1 point
    *** lv p. 213 § 3-p. 214 § 6 Le salut au drapeau, le vote et le service civil *** Le vote lors d’élections politiques. Les vrais chrétiens respectent le droit des autres de voter. Ils ne font pas campagne contre les élections, et ils coopèrent avec les autorités élues. Toutefois, ils gardent une stricte neutralité quant aux affaires politiques des nations (Matthieu 22:21 ; 1 Pierre 3:16). Comment devrait se comporter un chrétien qui vit dans un pays où le vote est obligatoire, ou bien dans un contexte où il serait très mal vu de ne pas se rendre aux urnes ? En s’appuyant sur l’idée que Shadrak, Méshak et Abed-Négo se sont quand même rendus dans la plaine de Doura, un chrétien qui se trouverait dans une situation similaire décidera peut-être de se rendre à l’isoloir si sa conscience le lui permet. Toutefois, il s’assurera de ne pas transiger avec la neutralité. Il prendra en considération les six principes suivants : 1. Les disciples de Jésus ne font “ pas partie du monde ”. — Jean 15:19. 2. Les chrétiens sont les représentants du Christ et de son Royaume. — Jean 18:36 ; 2 Corinthiens 5:20. 3. La congrégation chrétienne est unie par les mêmes croyances, et ses membres se manifestent un amour semblable à celui du Christ. — 1 Corinthiens 1:10 ; Colossiens 3:14. 4. Ceux qui font accéder quelqu’un à une position officielle par leurs suffrages portent une part de responsabilité dans ses agissements. — Notez les principes qui ressortent des paroles consignées en 1 Samuel 8:5, 10-18 et 1 Timothée 5:22. 5. Quand la nation d’Israël a demandé à avoir un dirigeant visible, Jéhovah a considéré leur souhait comme étant le signe qu’ils l’avaient rejeté. — 1 Samuel 8:7. 6. Les chrétiens doivent pouvoir s’exprimer en toute franchise, sans se sentir embarrassés, quand ils parlent du gouvernement qu’est le Royaume de Dieu avec des personnes de toutes sensibilités politiques. — Matthieu 24:14 ; 28:19, 20 ; Hébreux 10:35.
  19. 1 point
    I'm trying to figure out the reason for the word "however" as if these points indicate some potentially different conclusions. Going to a part of his blog where some of these statements are made
      Hello guest!
    I see that his first point is simple: Contrary to the idea 100 years ago when Tau-Rho was considered just another Christogram like Chi-Rho, we now have textual evidence that Tau-Rho is much older: We have instances of the Christian use of the tau-rho considerably earlier than any instances of the chi-rho. These earliest uses of the tau-rho are in Christian manuscripts palaeographically dated ca. 200-250 CE. In fact, as you quoted: tau-rho served a very different purpose from chi-rho. They are not freestanding symbols that one would use to represent a symbol for Christ, but were clearly a way to depict and represent the word for CROSS and CRUCIFY within some of the earliest texts of the Christian Greek Scriptures. This is what is significant and different about the staurogram. You quoted point #3 that stated this again more directly. It's possible you are concerned here, as you show yourself to be later, that a superimposed tau-rho was adapted from pre-Christian usage. Of course, the dual-beamed cross itself (as an instrument of torture/execution) is well-known from pre-Christian usage. Even the "nomina sacra" were adapted from the pre-Christian usage, where Jewish copyists sometimes wrote Theos in Greek with only the beginning Theta and the closing Sigma, skipping the vowels -- or perhaps even the Yod-Yod, to abbreviate a Hebrew Tetragrammaton.This is similar to the practice some Jewish writers still follow in English when they write G-d for God. That practice predated the practice in Christian texts of doing the same for Theos, and something similar for Lord, and Jesus and Christ. And the practice of using abbreviations was most well-known on coinage where space is at a premium. I'm not sure if this bit of knowledge means something to you, one way or another. You call it "disturbing" later. Why? I'd like to know, too. Those who actually study the age of manuscripts based on their materials and style of lettering and clues from the contents (including vocabulary and abbreviations) will put most of these examples in the 200 to 250 CE range. Some of the arguments that would place at least one of them to a later century are often the same arguments that could place them even earlier. They are often just arguments for the lack of accuracy of paleographic methods. But the exact date of the manuscripts is not so important to the overall evidence. The point is that the shape of the stauros associated with Jesus' execution is depicted and described very few times that we know of in the first 4 centuries. Basically, it's the Letter of Barnabas, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Eusebius, and these staurograms in texts that might date between 175 to 300 CE. In every case where the shape is discussed, the consensus is a Tau-shaped or t-shaped stauros for the execution of Jesus Christ. And this is not ALL the evidence, of course. The way that words are translated into other languages during the earliest translations of the CGS/NT can also provide good information. Archaeology can tell us a few things, including a probable cross found at Pompeii, and the graffiti depicted earlier. Even the lack of discussion or controversy about the shape can be revealing. And contemporary historical references about Roman execution practices can have a bearing, too. Remember, too, that if it were somehow important to note that this date is closer to the fourth century than the first century, then what does this say about the earliest known discussions of a "I" shaped, or pole-shaped stauros with reference to Jesus' execution? For all I can tell, those discussions might first be known only from many centuries later than the fourth century. Therefore, whatever importance we give to the "lateness" of these depictions of a two-beamed cross only further hurts the argument for a one-beamed cross. In addition, if the shape of the stauros were a double-beamed cross shape, then it seems very reasonable that idolatry-oriented associates of Christians would adapt it to the existing ankh symbol for life, and the existing tau-rho symbol. Related somewhat to the ankh symbol ("life" etc.) Hurtado, in the book I quoted, also believes that IH, the first two letters of Jesus in Greek formed an adaption of the Hebrew word for life which also could appear quite similar to IH, read in the opposite direction. And while Hurtado is not a promoter of gematria, he sees the possibility that it may have been intentional in some NT texts. He even mentions that Matthew's attempt to split the genealogical groups before and after David to conform to a mnemonic of 14 generations each, could very well be because "David" in Hebrew is 14. But we do know for sure that "Barnabas" was big on gematria, and he would have had a much easier time if the stauros could have been considered in the shape of an upright pole that would therefore represent "10". Too bad for him that he was stuck trying to fit the stauros in somewhere --anywhere!-- as a "300" instead of a "10." All he had available was an obscure reference to the number of Abram's slaves in Genesis, and he could do very little with it except make a note of it. There would have been dozens of interesting options available if the stauros were some other shape. Beyond those points I agree with all your later points. Pushing for a specific answer one way or another is not useful as we still have no way of knowing for sure. There were already simple meanings of stauros and xylon which never got expanded upon much in the Bible text itself, and speculating in any way that insists on a specific conclusion will end up in nothing useful. I have to admit that there is a certain iconoclastic satisfaction that I probably held inside for many years when I thought about how so many people had it wrong, and I just knew we had it right based on unquestioning acceptance of our own publications. Perhaps it would be somewhat satisfying to get that feeling back again, but it's probably for the wrong reasons. There's just a hint of pride and presumptuousness and judgmentalism, bordering on schadenfreude, in that idea that we are right about something and 99% of Christendom has been wrong about one of their major symbols. Besides, we would still know better than to make a big deal about the shape or the symbol even if we did accept that Jesus was executed on a stauros of the two-beamed variety.
  20. 1 point
    Emergency Survival / Prepping > --------------------------------------------------- Storing potable water can be one of the trickiest parts of prepping. It is crucial to have water on hand, though, if the local water supply becomes contaminated or simply isn’t accessible. The problem with storing water is that the shelf life is typically short, and there’s a risk of chemicals from the packaging leaching into the water. Filtration and purification systems are good to have on hand, but they only benefit when there is an actual water supply. Luckily, there is a company that figured out how to can pure water so that it has a 50 year shelf life. Blue Can Premium Emergency Water is packaged in 12 ounce cans, and can be stored between 33 degrees F to 150 degrees F for up to 50 years.
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    I thought a little about this stake or cross story today. And I came to the conclusion that Jesus has been put to death on a simple stake. Here is my reasoning: It seems that the Romans used to leave in the ground the stakes on which they used to hang the convicts. Indeed, why redo a hole each time? Not to mention the stony ground of Palestine and the fact that a stake planted and replanted many times would end up having trouble standing up after a while. So the theory that the stake was fixed is very plausible. I read that generally the convict carried with him, not the entire cross, or the stake according to our beliefs, but only the crossbar, which was already weighing very heavy. Then the prisoner was nailed to this crossbar and hoisted on the stake. The crossbar was placed into a notch made on the pole. So we have, stake already in place plus crossbar = cross. Now, if you are an inhabitant of the region and you are talking about the coming execution and you have before you the instrument where the convict will be hang, a simple piece of wood in the ground, would you speak of it as a cross or as a stake? If one shows the stake to a stranger who knows nothing about how prisoners are put to death and call it a cross, the other man would have difficulties to understand what he is talking about since he does not see any cross but a stake and can not imagine that the convict will come with the crossbar. In my opinion, but I do not have the infused knowledge, since the crossbar was brought with the prisoner, I think it's likely that people were talking about hanging on a stake at the time, the crossbar being a simple support that was not part of the pole itself. The instrument of punishment was therefore the stake. Once the prisoner hoisted up, his hands tied to the crossbar, we had before our eyes a cross. But it is quite possible that they continued to talk about it as a stake, since that's how it was named the rest of the time. That could reconcile the Jehovah's Witnesses with the rest of Christendom: for the first, Jesus died on a stake, since that's the name given to it and it was the instrument that was under the eyes of the inhabitants of Jerusalem night and day, for the others he died on a cross since Jesus came with the crossbar and once hoisted, we had before our eyes a cross.
  25. 1 point
    I get fed up with offering him either, He's never satisfied whatever you give him. A Unitarian that loves the JW Org it seems, by the things he writes anyway.
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    You beat me to it. I had to be out for most of today, but hoped to come back to @JOHN BUTLER to remind him that this is just my opinion based on the evidence. I lean one way because the evidence I've seen is slightly more convincing to me in that direction. But this does not mean that someone else (GB?) can't see the same evidence, and the majority of them lean the other way, per our own traditional stance on it since Rutherford's time. To John, I would say that this Staurogram, and graffiti evidence too, cannot take us back much before 200 CE even if the evidence is exactly as old as some scholars still claim. As you point out from the words of Paul, even if evidence showed that this was as early as 50 CE, it still wouldn't be "proof." It could very well have been one of the ways in which "lawlessness" was already at work. After all, there is no doubt that the veneration of a cross symbol crosses the line into idolatry. And through syncretism with older traditions, the cross would have been a much more recognizable symbol with a richer history for veneration than a plain "I" symbol. And warnings about idolatry run from Paul's letters right up through (and througout) Revelation. You hit upon most (perhaps all) of the weaknesses of the Staurogram evidence, and these might have already been taken into consideration by those who have researched the current position as outlined in the WT publications. The actual earliest evidence appears to be the argumentation in the Letter of Barnabas which scholars have not tried to date much later than 120 or 130. And there is no solid evidence to claim it was later than 75 or 80 either. "Barnabas" is big on gematria, of course, and this could even be one of the areas that letters to Titus and Timothy reference when they speak of things like being "obsessed with arguments and debates about words." (1 Tim 6:4). There's even a slim chance that it was this very book (and books like it) that were being challenged here and in Titus 3:9, etc. Even so, it would not change the fact that a T shaped stauros is built into the argument as an aside, along with this early discussion of how T and then IH would create the number 318 (T=the stauros and the IH symbol which was already in use as a reference to IHSOUS -Jesus.) Many years later in Christian copy of Genesis, the numer 318 comes up as the number of Abram's slaves: (Genesis 14:14) 14 Thus Aʹbram heard that his relative had been taken captive. With that he mobilized his trained men, 318 servants born in his household, and went in pursuit up to Dan. The much later Genesis manuscript treats the number 318 here as a "nomina sacra" just as Barnabas had discussed upwards of 300 years earlier. BTW, I also wanted to mention that Hurtado deals with the fact that just because a scholar gave these terms the name "nomina sacra" it doesn't mean that they were all considered to be the equivalent of a Divine Name. Obviously, this is true of Stauros, which is nothing like a "divine name," but we also know that this was a development over many years, and there is no evidence that "Spirit" (pneuma) was added to the list until 400 or so. Also, there were many other names that only reminded them of Jesus or God, such as "Joshua the son of Nun" or even Moses, Abraham and David. So this wasn't intended as a complete discussion of "nomina sacra" by any means. Although there are some weaknesses and flexibility as to the exact dates scholars try to pin on things, it doesn't (for me) change the balance of the evidence favoring one meaning over the other. And as we've already covered, there is no reason for anyone to claim proof or insist on any particular shape based on any of the evidence so far.
  28. 1 point
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  30. 1 point
    I was referring to the "video" presentation that Kurt provided. Look at the point made at the 1 minute and 20 second mark in the video: "Four main arguments used to prove Jesus died on a Cross" 1. Jehovah's Witnesses Believed in the Cross.
  31. 0 points
    The Caravan consist of other immigrants so not only Mexicans. On the other side of the spectrum, Trump was to send out military force to deal with them should they get near.

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