Brady Stephenson

Brady Stephenson

03 July 2010

WFT- logomachy

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for February 23rd was logomachy. (loh-GAH-muh-kee)

1 : a dispute over or about words 2 : a controversy marked by verbiage

They provided this background on the word:

It doesn't take much to start people arguing about words, but there's no quarrel about the origin of "logomachy." It comes from the Greek roots "logos," meaning "word" or "speech," and "machesthai," meaning "to fight," and it entered English in the mid-1500s. If you're a word enthusiast, you probably know that "logos" is the root of many English words ("monologue," "neologism," "logic," and most words ending in "-logy," for example), but what about other derivatives of "machesthai"? Actually, this is a tough one even for word whizzes. Only a few very rare English words come from "machesthai." Here are two of them: "heresimach" ("an active opponent of heresy and heretics") and "naumachia" ("an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle").

01 June 2010

Honor the Aged

What is sin?  Sin occurs when a person violates G-d's Law (1 John 3:4).  When we violate G-d's commandments, either those given broadly in Scripture (e.g. do not commit murder) or those given directly to us as individuals by the Holy Spirit (e.g. "go minister to that guy sitting by himself in the cafeteria"), we are sinning.

Sin comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes.  There have been books and books written about sin including "respectable sins"... those sins that we tend to trivialize because they aren't in the Ten Commandments or aren't terribly offensive to us as individuals.  We should be aware that, in the sense of salvation, a sin is a sin is a sin.  Any one of them ("big" or "small") merit G-d's judgment and separate us from Him.  Praise be to G-d that He has provided forgiveness for our sins as a consequence of faith in His Messiah.

Recently there has been news that a pill to help you live past 100 may be available in two years. Fox News was one of the news sources that carried the story.  Here is a quote from the article:

The New York professor's [Nir Barzilai] own team at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has pinpointed genetic variants that let people live to a "ripe old age."

That story got me to thinking... What does G-d's Word say about how we can live to a ripe old age?  I was definitely surprised as I searched the Torah.

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

In the ongoing debate and discussion regarding whether or not Messianic believers should wear a kippah, this particular bit of information was enlightening for me so I thought I would share...

As to the obligation of wearing a kippah, halakhic experts agree that it is a minhag (custom). The prevailing view among Rabbinical authorities is that this custom has taken on a kind of force of law (Shulkhan Arukh, Orach Chayim 2:6), because it is an act of Kiddush Hashem. From a strictly Talmudic point of view, however, the only moment when a Jewish man is required to cover his head is during prayer (Mishneh Torah, Ahavah, Hilkhot Tefilah 5:5).

It is interesting on a number of levels but here are two that jumped out at me:

The story of the Exodus from Egypt is found (not surprisingly) in the book of Exodus.

The story of Saul, the King of Israel, is found in 1 Samuel.

The story of Purim is found in the book of Esther.

These three stories are inextricably entwined in ways that may not be readily evident.  Let's examine Scripture and see what we can find.

A British computer game retailer, Game Station, reports that it now owns the souls of thousands of their shoppers as a result of a clause that was added to their online terms and agreements as part of an April Fools joke.

"By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from or one of its duly authorised minions."

Fox News provides further details of the situation.

The recent recovery of Nadia Bloom in a dense swamp in Florida has many singing the praises of G-d.  Why?  Because James King, the man who is credited with finding her gives all the credit to G-d:

"I see it as an answer to a lot of people's prayers," King told CNN. "I'm just very thankful, I'm thankful that God used me as a part of it to be able to find her. It's definitely a miracle.

King describes the events surrounding his discovery of the missing girl:

"I didn't know where she was. The only person who knew where she was was God, and I asked him and he led me directly to her, straight -- well, as straight as you can go through the swamp."

11 April 2010

The Fiery Serpent

A recent turn of events lead to a bit of "online archaeology" of sorts:

I was reading a recent CNN article online entitled "In Sudan, a war is waged to eradicate the 'fiery serpent'" and came across this:

Believed to be "the fiery serpent" described in the Bible, the Guinea worm has plagued mankind since ancient Egyptian times. Now it's close to becoming the second disease in the world to be eradicated, after smallpox, health officials say.

This piqued my interest since I was familiar with the story and had always thought actual snakes were biting the people.

10 April 2010

WFT- thaumaturgy

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for February 22nd was thaumaturgy.

the performance of miracles; specifically : magic

The words origins:

The magic of "thaumaturgy" is miraculous. The word, from a Greek word meaning "miracle working," is applicable to any performance of miracles, especially by incantation. It can also be used of things that merely seem miraculous and unexplainable, like the thaumaturgy of a motion picture's illusions (aka "movie magic"), or the thaumaturgy at work in an athletic team's "miracle" comeback. In addition to "thaumaturgy," we also have "thaumaturge" and "thaumaturgist," both of which mean "a performer of miracles" or "a magician," and the adjective "thaumaturgic," meaning "performing miracles" or "of, relating to, or dependent on thaumaturgy."

Some of you may be thinking... "Magic!?  Why is he bringing up magic in regards to Scripture?".

03 April 2010

WFT- uxorial

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for March 29th was uxorial.

of, relating to, or characteristic of a wife

The origins of the word:

With help from "-ial," "-ious," and "-icide," the Latin word "uxor," meaning "wife," has given us the English words "uxorial," "uxorious" (meaning "excessively fond of or submissive to a wife"), and "uxoricide" ("murder of a wife by her husband" or "a wife murderer"). Do we have equivalent "husband" words? Well, sort of. "Maritus" means "husband" in Latin, so "marital" can mean "of or relating to a husband and his role in marriage" (although "maritus" also means "married," and the "of or relating to marriage or the married state" sense of "marital" is far more common). And while "mariticide" is "spouse killing," it can also be specifically "husband-killing."

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