History Articles

History of World Backup Day

March 30, 2024 /
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World Backup DayHISTORY OF WORLD BACKUP DAY

There isn’t much history, as the first celebration of this geek holiday was in 2011. World Backup Day is barely a decade old.

But the need is real, now more than ever, especially in light of this salient fact: April Fools’ Day. March 31, the day before, is an excellent time to check your backups. On the eve of the day, famous for pranks, this might be your last chance.

You may have learned at the University of Hard Knocks that it’s not a question of “if” you’ll lose your data but “when.” Having a redundant copy of it can make all the difference, and you may be able to skip the course at U of H.K. on Pulling Your Hair Out.

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History of Easter: Why Bunnies and Eggs?

March 29, 2024 /
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Vintage bunnyHISTORY 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 got the word Easter.

The first is that when Christianity reached the Teutonic peoples, it incorporated many of their heathen (“of the heath”) rites into the great Christian feast day, according to the Venerable Bede. He was a monk who wrote the first history of Christianity in England. Easter month corresponded to April. Bede suggested that it had been dedicated to Eostre, or Ostara, the Teutonic goddess of the Spring and fertility. (more…)

History of Good Friday

March 29, 2024 /
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Via-Dolorosa-754232HISTORY OF GOOD FRIDAY

For centuries, pilgrims have walked the Via Dolorosa, “the way of sorrow” in Jerusalem, following Jesus’s path 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 fourteen “Stations of the Cross” to the ultimate location at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of the crucifixion and burial. Several years ago, I walked this road. Though historically anachronistic – some of these roads did not exist during the time of Christ – nevertheless, the walk leaves one with a profound sense of historical gravitas.

 

Crucifixion on Good Friday

Following Pilate‘s sentence, Jesus was led away to be crucified. Crucifixion was a form of torture and execution developed by the Persians between 300-400 B.C. and practiced by many ancient societies, including Carthage, India, Scythia, Assyria, and Germanic tribes. The Phoenicians were probably the first to use a transverse cross-beam rather than just an upright stake in the ground. From the Phoenicians, the Romans adopted this practice as the primary means of execution of rebellious slaves and provincials who were not Roman citizens. (more…)

History of the Trial: How many did Jesus have?

March 28, 2024 /
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The Trial of JesusTHE TRIAL OF JESUS

Beginning Thursday night and extending into Friday morning of Holy Week, Jesus’s trial, 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 of Sorrow. This pilgrimage follows a series of sites that Christian pilgrims take through the streets of modern Jerusalem, commemorating the last hours before Jesus arrived at Golgotha on Good Friday.

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History of Maundy Thursday: Shere or Green Thursday?

March 27, 2024 /
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Maundy ThursdayHISTORY 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 day.

The Middle English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, meaning “command.” The reference is Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 13:34:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Jesus spoke those words at the Last Supper, which took place the Thursday before Easter.

 

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History of Easter: The Sanhedrin – Who Was This Council?

March 25, 2024 /
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SanhedrinHISTORY 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. The Sanhedrin reflected the local autonomy that first, the Greek and later the Roman powers granted the Jewish nation during their successive sovereignty over the Land of Israel.

 

Origin of the Sanhedrin

Its origin can be traced back as far as 200 B.C. during the “Intertestamental Period,” which extends about 400 years after the close of the Old Testament to the beginning of the New Testament writings. We hear about it during the Hasmonean period, following the Maccabean Revolt – which you can read more about in the History of Chanukah – and there are references to it in the Mishnah section of the Talmud. But there is no reference to this body in the original Old Testament. The council had about 70 members, plus the ruling high priest. Three professional groups composed the council:

  • High priests – the acting high priest, former high priests, and members of the chief-priestly families
  • Elders – tribal and family heads of the people and the priesthood
  • Scribes – legal professionals

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History of Palm Sunday

March 24, 2024 /
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Triumphal Entry

Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday

HISTORY OF PALM SUNDAY

The week we now call Holy Week or Passion Week starts this weekend with Palm Sunday. Why was this week so important that three of the gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) devote a full third of their contents to reporting this week, and the fourth gospel (John) dedicates its entire last half?

Jerusalem, which had a normal population of about 50,000 at the time of Jesus, had at least tripled in size because of the influx of pilgrims celebrating the Jewish holiday Passover. Early Sunday morning, Jesus made his dramatic public entry into the city. This was the end of any privacy and safety his ministry had afforded previously. It began an inevitable collision course with the religious and political authorities: Jewish and Roman. (more…)

History of Purim: The Story of Esther

March 23, 2024 /
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HISTORY OF PURIM

purim

Designed with DALL-E 3

HISTORY OF PURIM

Purim, or “lots,” is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the saving of the Jewish people from annihilation during the Achaemenid Empire, around five centuries before Christ, as recounted in the Old Testament Book of Esther.

This was during the reign of the Persian King Ahasuerus. It is celebrated today as a Jewish feast day on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar. This year, Purim begins at sundown on March 23.

 

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History of Herod Antipas: Why Jesus called him That Fox

March 21, 2024 /
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Herod Antipas

Herod Antipas

HISTORY OF HEROD ANTIPAS

Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great (whom we met in the Christmas story) and Malthake. After his father died in 4 B.C., he was made tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea in the Trans-Jordan area of Palestine, which he ruled as a client state of the Roman Empire.

Like his father, he loved grand and artistic architectural works. He built the beautiful Tiberias (named after guess who) as the capital of his kingdom on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which was renamed the Sea of Tiberias. Similar to his father, you could say he was an Italianophile. Jesus appeared before him during his many trials on Good Friday, having been sent to him by Pilate. But after the audience, Antipas sent Jesus back to Pilate.

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History of Pontius Pilate: His Background Before Good Friday

March 20, 2024 /
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ecce homo

“Behold the Man”

HISTORY OF PONTIUS PILATE

The Roman governor who presided over Jesus’s trial and ordered his crucifixion had a complex background. The name Pontius Pilate 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 aristocracy was demoted to the Roman equestrian or middle-class order rather than the higher senatorial order.

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Science of The Spring: What is the Vernal Equinox?

March 19, 2024 /
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SpringSCIENCE OF THE SPRING

In Colorado, we have a saying: we begin the first day of Spring in the same way we began the Fall: with snow. This symmetry is relevant, as the beginning of Spring and Fall coincide with the Equinox. This word consists of two Latin root words, aequus and nox, meaning “equal night,” referring to the fact that daylight and nighttime are equal in duration.

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History of St Joseph’s Day: Why not more popular?

March 19, 2024 /
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St JosephHISTORY OF ST JOSEPH

Today, March 19, is Saint Joseph’s Day, or the Feast of St. Joseph. It is celebrated by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches worldwide. The terms feast and festival are often used interchangeably and often refer to a religious holiday.

What is the history of the holiday and Joseph himself?

 

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