History of St. John the Baptist Day

St John the Baptist

HISTORY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST DAY The Feast of St. John the Baptist, or the Nativity of St John the Forerunner, sometimes called St. John the Baptist Day, is celebrated on June 24 in many places around the world, though not much in the United States, as we’ll see below. Celebration of the Feast…

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History of Explo 72: The Apex of the Jesus Movement, 50 Years Ago

Explo72_Life

History of Explo ’72: The Apex of the Jesus Movement, 50 Years Ago Fifty years ago, Explo ’72 was held in Dallas, Texas, from June 12 to June 17, 1972. It was the most conspicuous event of the Jesus Movement, at least in the media. Sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ, it was initially called…

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History of Pentecost

Pentecost

HISTORY OF PENTECOST The Feast of Pentecost is taken from the Greek word πεντηκόστη which means “the 50th,” referring to the fiftieth day after Passover and Easter. This would coincide with the harvest festival Shavuot the “Feast of Weeks in the Jewish calendar.” In the Christian calendar, Passover played a part in several visits Jesus…

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History of Mother’s Day: Ancient and Modern

Mothers Day

HISTORY OF MOTHER’S DAY The person who initially was most active in opposing the celebration of Mother’s Day is the very person who started this holiday in the US. How did that happen? Anna Jarvis’ mother died in 1905, and in her honor, Anna held a memorial in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia. She continued…

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History of the King James Bible: 411th Year of the Authorized Version?

King James Bible

HISTORY OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE Four hundred eleven years ago marked the publishing, at the request of the Anglican clergy, of what would become the Authorized Version of the Bible to wide acclaim. But there are three problems with that statement. While it is true that the King James Bible was published in 1611…

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History of May Day

May Day

HISTORY OF MAY DAY May Day is many things to many people. Etymologically, it is a homophone (same sounding word) for the international call for help. It is a corruption of the French imperative “M’aidez,” meaning “Help me!” It is a holiday claimed by many.   May Day as a Pagan Holiday It is known…

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History of Easter: The Players: Where are They Now?

The Players

HISTORY OF EASTER: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PLAYERS AFTERWARD 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 his brother’s wife Herodias as…

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History of Good Friday

HISTORY OF GOOD FRIDAY For centuries pilgrims have walked the Via Dolorosa, “the way of sorrow” in Jerusalem, following the path Jesus took on Good Friday. Starting at the judgment seat of Pilate at the Antonia Fortress in the eastern part of the city immediately north of the Temple, the path follows 14 “Stations of…

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History of the Trial: How many did Jesus have?

The Trial

THE TRIAL OF JESUS Beginning Thursday night and extending into Friday morning of Holy Week, the trial of Jesus, which led to his crucifixion, was, in reality, a series of about half a dozen trials distributed across several locations in Jerusalem. Some of these locations are captured in the tradition of the Via Dolorosa, the Way…

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History of Maundy Thursday: a Shere or Green Thursday?

Maundy Thursday

HISTORY OF 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…

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History of Easter: The Sanhedrin — Who was this Council?

Sanhedrin

HISTORY OF THE SANHEDRIN The Greek word Συνέδριον, sunedrion, means literally “sitting together” and is usually translated as “council.” It is referred to in the New Testament alternately 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. It reflected the local…

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History of Easter: Why Bunnies and Eggs?

Vintage bunny

HISTORY OF EASTER The most joyous of Christian festivals and one of the first celebrated by Christians across the Roman Empire commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is set on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox.   Meaning of the word Easter There are several theories about where we…

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