Archive for April 2006

History of May Day

.!. HISTORY OF MAY DAY May Day is many things to many people. Etymologically, it is the international call for help. It is a corruption of the French imperative “M’aidez” meaning “Help me!” As a holiday it is claimed by many. It is known in the pagan world as “Beltane,” a fertility celebration, one of…

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History of the Players

SO WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO OLD… You may be asking yourself, “Self,” you ask, “where are they now?” and well you might ask. What happened to our players AFTER the events in the Easter story? HEROD ANTIPAS You may remember that I had said Antipas’ taking to wife his brother’s wife Herodias led to his…

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History of Good Friday

GOOD FRIDAY For centuries, pilgrims have walked the Via Dolorosa, “the way of sorrow” in Jerusalem, following the path Jesus took from the judgement seat of Pilate at the Antonia in the eastern part of the city through several “stations of the Cross” to the ultimate location at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the…

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History of the Trial of Jesus

THE TRIAL OF JESUS HOUSE OF ANNAS Jesus was brought before the powerful ex-high priest for a hearing prior to formal arraignment before the son-in-law Caiaphas. Jesus knowing this to be essentially a lower court inquiry blunted Annas’ questions by answering that what was known about him was “…public record”. PALACE OF CAIAPHAS As it…

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History of Passover

HISTORY OF PASSOVER This evening at sunset marks the beginning of Passover. Exodus 12 in the Bible tells the story of Passover from the life of Moses. Ten plagues were visited upon the Egyptian pharaoh (starring Yul Brenner, but much better in “The King and I”) to get his attention to release the “children of…

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History of Maundy Thursday

MAUNDY THURSDAY Amid the bustle of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, Maundy Thursday is easy to overlook. Few calendars label it, and some churches don’t observe it at all, though it may be the oldest of the Holy Week observances. It’s worth asking why, and how, generations of Christians have revered this day. The…

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History of the Sanhedrin

SANHEDRIN The Greek word ‘sunedrion’, translated council is referred to in the New Testament as “the Great Law-Court”, “the Court of Seventy-One”, and “the rulers and elders and scribes”. It was the supreme theocratic court of the Jews and reflected the local autonomy which the Greek and Roman powers granted the Jewish nation. Its origin…

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History of Herod Antipas

HEROD ANTIPAS Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great (whom we met in the Christmas story) and Malthake. After his father’s death in 4 B.C. he was made tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea in Trans-Jordan. Like his father, he was a great lover of great and artistic architectural works, and built the beautiful…

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History of Pontius Pilate

PONTIUS PILATE His name provides two valuable clues to his background and ancestry. The family name, Pontius was that of a prominent clan among the Samnites, hill cousins of the Latin Romans. They had almost conquered Rome in several fierce wars. The Pontii were of noble blood, but when Rome finally absorbed the Samnites, their…

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