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 Easter: The Players: Where are They Now?

Question_Mark_Cloud

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

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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 Good Friday

Via-Dolorosa

HISTORY 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”…

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History of the Trial: How many did Jesus have?

Via Crusis

THE 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.…

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

Jerusalem Second Temple

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. The Sanhedrin reflected the…

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History of Purim: The Story of Esther

purim

HISTORY OF PURIM 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…

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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 Pontius Pilate: His Background Before Good Friday

Pontius Pilate

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…

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Science of The Spring: What is the Vernal Equinox?

Equinox

SCIENCE 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…

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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 ordinary sense but also in some unique sense. Jesus entered Jerusalem…

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