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 the Civil War: When was the First Shot?

Civil War

HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR On April 12, 1861, the first formal hostilities of the American Civil War occurred when Confederate troops attacked the military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. The Fort, located in Charleston harbor, was a coastal fortification built after the War of 1812 as part of the U.S. coastal fortification…

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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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History of Palm Sunday: How it starts Holy Week

Triumphal Entry

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,…

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History of Herod Antipas: Why Jesus called him That Fox

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…

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History of Easter: Historical Climate

Historical Context Jerusalem

HISTORICAL CLIMATE OF EASTER As Passion Week begins next weekend, what was the historical climate of Easter Week almost 2,000 years ago surrounding the last week of the life of Jesus of Nazareth? He was a man “born to die,” not just in the normal sense but also in some special sense. Jesus entered Jerusalem…

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History of April Fools’ Day

April Fools Day

HISTORY OF APRIL FOOLS’ DAY April Fools’ Day, or All Fools’ Day, is the name given to the custom of playing practical jokes on friends on that day or sending them on fools’ errands. The origin of this custom has been much disputed; it is in some way a relic of those once universal festivities…

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History of World Backup Day

World Backup Day

HISTORY 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 before. Especially in light of this salient fact: April Fools’ Day. March 31, the day before, is an…

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History of The Spring: What is the Vernal Equinox?

Equinox

HISTORY 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 both the beginning of Spring and Fall coincide with the Equinox. This word is made up of two Latin root words aequus and…

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History of St. Patrick: Was he British?

St Patrick

HISTORY OF ST PATRICK’S DAY Although much of the life of the patron saint and Apostle of Ireland is shrouded in legend, St. Patrick was probably born around the year AD 389. Stories are told of the many contests Patrick had with Druids, pagans, and polytheists, as well as the well-known but unlikely story of…

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History of the Ides of March: Who should Beware?

Ides of March

HISTORY OF THE IDES OF MARCH According to the ancient Roman calendar, the ides fell on the 13th of the month except for March, May, July, and October, when it fell on the 15th of the month. Something epochal occurred in 44 B.C.   Et tu, Brute? On March 15, 44 B.C., the Roman dictator…

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