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Monday, May 11, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do You Hear What I Hear - Perry Como ~ Christmas Classic

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Luciano Pavarotti singing "Granada" by Lara

Luciano Pavarotti singing "Granada" by Lara

Culture: Abortion is Murder

Culture: Abortion is Murder

We posted this on Mother's Day for the Islamic Cultures of the Middle East and everywhere and we repeat it here on the West's Mother's Day, and yes I told my Mother I love her and wished her a happy and blessed Mother's Day.

Until you defend the right to life of the unborn, the way that Jesus Christ did and the way that Muhammad did and the way that Mother Teresa did, please don't tell the world how concerned you are for the rights of others. In other words, there are NO exceptions, all babies from the moment of conception have the absolute, utter and complete right to life that God gives them. Amen.

The genocide against the babies outweighs any other. One half BILLION (Billion with "B") murdered by abortion and abortafacient (the Pill, it induces abortion of just conceived babies).

13 Thou shalt not kill. (DRV)
Dt:18:9, 10:
9 ¶ When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee, beware lest thou have a mind to imitate the abominations of those nations.
10 Neither let there be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire: or that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens, neither let there be any wizard, (DRV)
Dt:18:10 "... expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire..." Refers to the practice of murdering a live infant by fire to the pagan goddess Moloch. Today the same thing, murder by burning, is saline abortion. There is also murder by sucking the brains out of the live infant, this is referred to as partial birth abortion. There is also murder by abortafacient at or very close to the moment of conception, this is referred to as “the pill” or a patch or whatever method of ingesting the abortafacient. There hasn’t been a “pill” that doesn’t do this for 40 years.

The Didache

Chap. II.

1. And the second commandment of the Teaching is:
2. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not corrupt boys; thou shalt not commit fornication. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not use witchcraft; thou shalt not practice sorcery. Thou shalt not procure abortion, nor shalt thou kill the new-born child. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.
3. Thou shalt not forswear thyself (swear falsely). Thou shalt not bear false witness. Thou shalt not speak evil; thou shalt not bear malice.
4. Thou shalt not be double-minded nor double-tongued; for duplicity of tongue is a snare of death.
5. Thy speech shall not be false, nor vain, but fulfilled by deed.
6. Thou shalt not be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor malignant, nor haughty. Thou shalt not take evil counsel against thy neighbor.
7. Thou shalt not hate any one, but some thou shalt rebuke and for some thou shalt pray, and some thou shalt love above thine own soul (or, life).

Matthew 18

1 ¶ At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus, calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them.
3 And said: amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.
6 But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 ¶ Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.
8 And if thy hand, or thy foot, scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.
9 And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
10 See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 What think you? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them should go astray: doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and goeth to seek that which is gone astray?
13 And if it so be that he find it: Amen I say to you, he rejoiceth more for that, than for the ninety-nine that went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

From Mary Meehan’s "The Road to Abortion" Copyright © 1998, 1999 & 2002 by Mary Meehan. In 1966 Dr. Alan Guttmacher, apparently trying to be witty, wrote from Africa to a U.S. colleague: "My trip has been great. I believe I converted the Jews in Israel and now I am working on the pigmented savages." This private comment from Guttmacher (who was Jewish, but not observant) came soon after his Planned Parenthood group gave an award to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.(32)
32. William H. Draper, Jr., to P. A. Gorman, [8 or 11] Sept. 1967, Guttmacher Papers; Alan F. Guttmacher to Frank Notestein, 13 June 1966, PPFA (II), box 125; and Congressional Record (10 May 1966), vol. 112, part 8, 10164-10165. In his statement accepting the Margaret Sanger Award, Dr. King praised Sanger and family planning and spoke of "the modern plague of overpopulation." Unfortunately, he seemed unaware of the eugenics connections of Sanger and of population control in general. Ibid.

Also see:
Dr. King did in fact receive the Margaret Sanger Award in 1966. But it is also a fact that in 1966, Planned Parenthood was still (at least publicly) anti-abortion.

Alan Guttmacher Institute Mission: "The Institute's mission is to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world. It is to support their ability to obtain the information and services needed to achieve their full human rights, safeguard their health and exercise their individual responsibilities in regard to sexual behavior and relationships, reproduction and family formation."

Alan Guttmacher (1898-1974) did more to cause the widespread use of abortion to murder babies, especially gentile babies, than anyone else, including Margaret Sanger.

One who followed in the footsteps of Guttmacher, Dr. Bernard Nathanson (born 1926). Dr. Nathanson repented of his genocide against babies.

By Dr. Bernard Nathanson

I am personally responsible for 75,000 abortions. This legitimises my credentials to speak to you with some authority on the issue. I was one of the founders of the National Association for the Repeal of the Abortion Laws (NARAL) in the U.S. in 1968. A truthful poll of opinion then would have found that most Americans were against permissive abortion. Yet within five years we had convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to issue the decision which legalised abortion throughout America in 1973 and produced virtual abortion on demand up to birth. How did we do this? It is important to understand the tactics involved because these tactics have been used throughout the western world with one permutation or another, in order to change abortion law.


We persuaded the media that the cause of permissive abortion was a liberal enlightened, sophisticated one. Knowing that if a true poll were taken, we would be soundly defeated, we simply fabricated the results of fictional polls. We announced to the media that we had taken polls and that 60% of Americans were in favour of permissive abortion. This is the tactic of the self-fulfilling lie. Few people care to be in the minority. We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law. Another myth we fed to the public through the media was that legalising abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1500% since legalisation.


We systematically vilified the Catholic Church and its "socially backward ideas" and picked on the Catholic hierarchy as the villain in opposing abortion. This theme was played endlessly. We fed the media such lies as "we all know that opposition to abortion comes from the hierarchy and not from most Catholics" and "Polls prove time and again that most Catholics want abortion law reform". And the media drum-fired all this into the American people, persuading them that anyone opposing permissive abortion must be under the influence of the Catholic hierarchy and that Catholics in favour of abortion are enlightened and forward-looking. An inference of this tactic was that there were no non-Catholic groups opposing abortion. The fact that other Christian as well as non-Christian religions were {and still are) monolithically opposed to abortion was constantly suppressed, along with pro-life atheists' opinions.


I am often asked what made me change my mind. How did I change from prominent abortionist to pro-life advocate? In 1973, I became director of obstetrics of a large hospital in New York City and had to set up a prenatal research unit, just at the start of a great new technology which we now use every day to study the foetus in the womb. A favourite pro- abortion tactic is to insist that the definition of when life begins is impossible; that the question is a theological or moral or philosophical one, anything but a scientific one. Foetology makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy. Why, you may well ask, do some American doctors who are privy to the findings of foetology, discredit themselves by carrying out abortions? Simple arithmetic at $300 a time, 1.55 million abortions means an industry generating $500,000,000 annually, of which most goes into the pocket of the physician doing the abortion. It is clear that permissive abortion is purposeful destruction of what is undeniably human life. It is an impermissible act of deadly violence. One must concede that unplanned pregnancy is a wrenchingly difficult dilemma, but to look for its solution in a deliberate act of destruction is to trash the vast resourcefulness of human ingenuity, and to surrender the public weal to the classic utilitarian answer to social problems.


Although I am not a formal religionist, I believe with all my heart that there is a divinity of existence which commands us to declare a final and irreversible halt to this infinitely sad and shameful crime against humanity.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson's film Silent Scream, real abortion, the real truth, watch it.

Dr. Nathanson’s videos at: The Silent Scream

Those who follow in the footsteps of Guttmacher and do NOT repent:

IOF cold blooded murder of Mothers and Childen

ضوء النجوم في ذراعي

Lumière des étoiles dans mes bras

Tenez-moi le chéri,

ضوء النجوم ذراعي عقد لي حبيبة ،

Et dites-moi que vous m'aimez

وقالوا لي انك لي حب متوهجة

Rayons ardents de notre joie.

أشعة متوهجة من البهجة.

Vous déplacez mon âme,

Vous touchez mon coeur,

أنت تتحرك روحي وأنت على اتصال قلبي

Je vous tiens

Et mon coeur volera,

أعانق لك قلبي والذباب ،

Et est au repos,

في الراحة

Lumière des étoiles dans mes bras.

النجوم ذراعي.

Rhumba guitar and Sinhala

Sri Lanka is a gracious country. Rhumba guitar and Sinhala.

Classic Sinhala poetry below (different than the above song, but both are beautiful, aren't they?)

Thun kala thumula vanaye malrasa novinda Kanthala gajan kopulata bingu ronata veda Kanthala pahara veni nirinduta asuva inda Pin kala hithanuvani den thevenu kumatada

As the honey-loving bee heedless thro" the forest flies Where the many coloured flowers tempt him with their rich supplies, And by fragrance strange allured on the tusked head alights, Victim of the flapping ears all amid the stol"n delights, Thus adored love art thou captive of thy king and lord, Yet, dash sorrow from thy brow, cease to mourn, my dear, adored

India needs God, not falsehood

Islam and Karma
Harun Yahya

Karma is a superstitious belief that attracts people because of its mystical and mysterious air. It is an offence to human reason, conscience and creation in a great many ways.

Belief in karma is an important element in superstitious eastern religions such as decadent Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Karma is a Sanskrit word meaning "action" or "movement". In Indian religions, karma is conceived of as "the law of cause and effect". According to those who believe in karma, in the future people will experience the consequences of whatever they have done in the past. Good comes from good, and evil from evil. It therefore follows that the situation they are in today is the result of the past.

No matter how much the philosophy of karma appears to encourage people towards ethical behaviour, it is in fundamental conflict with belief in the hereafter and a great many matters of faith described in the Qur'an.

According to this belief, however, what is meant by "the past" is the life that a person lived before their current life; what is meant by "the future" is their next life back on this Earth that will begin (or so it is claimed), after death. The reason for this is that the belief in karma is based on a belief in reincarnation-the belief that after death, people return to the world in a different body, and that this process of death and rebirth is continuous. It therefore follows that someone who believes in karma believes that in the so-called life they will have after death, whatever successes they have, whatever position in society they occupy and whatever way of life they enjoy will have been determined by how they behaved in their previous life and on their degree of morality in that life.

For example, someone who is rich and successful in this life is being rewarded with wealth for having been a good person in their previous life. In the same way (according to the concept of karma), someone who is poor, crippled or a failure in this life will have done bad things in their previous life and is now reaping the reward for those actions. In fact, it is claimed by those who subscribe to this superstitious belief system that people may take the form of plants or animals in their successive lives, depending on the nature of the evil they have done. Later in this book we will demonstrate in detail that belief in reincarnation is mere superstition.

According to the belief in karma, someone who is rich and famous has become so in return for the good deeds he performed in a previous life. Many people who believe in karma, however, also think that there is no Creator who might bring this justice about. The proponents of this philosophy believe that karma is a self-maintaining system.

At first sight it might appear that a belief in karma would provide a strong incentive for people to adopt attractive moral qualities, since they will want to enjoy the best possible conditions when they are reborn into this world. However, the belief in reincarnation and other superstitious concepts fostered by religions which espouse karma (such as Hinduism and decadent Buddhism), are contrary to human logic, human nature and the human conscience. Thus, the laws and practices of these religions cannot possibly endow people with good moral qualities; they cannot bring individuals peace of mind, inner confidence or happiness. The poor living conditions and the injustice prevalent in those countries where these religions are common or where they have, in fact, been adopted as the national religion, quite clearly demonstrate the truth of this.

One of the main reasons why some of the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism attract attention is the interest shown in them by certain world-famous film stars and musicians. Some of these famous people have their photographs taken wearing Buddhist robes in Tibet, or they claim to have found peace of mind in meditation. Another thing that makes people interested in these religions is the aura of mystery and mysticism with which they are associated in the mind of the public.

This is a communication to be transmitted to mankind so that they may be warned by it and so that they will know that He is One God and so that people of intelligence
will pay heed.
(Surah Ibrahim: 52)
But the great majority of people who are influenced by this mystical aura and who make a belief in karma the foundation for their way of life do not carry out any detailed investigation into these philosophies and do not think about them carefully enough. This is because they are too focused on the positive spiritual and moral aspects to see that these religions in their decadent conditions contain many beliefs that are inconsistent, illogical, and contrary to human nature and conscience, or perhaps they simply prefer to ignore these anomalies altogether.

However, anyone who wishes to escape from the difficult and depressing life they are leading and who sincerely wants all humanity to be able to live a life full of happiness and inner tranquility ought to make an effort to find the right way. Therefore, they should carefully investigate the philosophies by which they are influenced and should be inwardly certain which path is the most correct, the wisest and the one that best accords with their conscience.

The purpose of this book is to show people whose quest for the truth has led them to adopt the positive messages of the karma philosophy, that it is not the best path since it is derived from a religion based on myths, superstitions and practices that defy reason. The only way for people to live happily and enjoy peace of mind in this life and in their eternal life after death is for them to have faith in Allah and to act in accordance with the dictates of the Qur'an. The Qur'an is the book of truth revealed by our Lord, Allah, for the sake of thinking people; it is our only guide to salvation, bringing people from darkness into light. The only true way is to put into practice the ethics of the Qur'an and to fear Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Who keeps people from wickedness, discord, cruelty, oppression, intolerance, despair, pessimism, unhappiness and every kind of reprehensible act, and to live in accord with the Sunnah of His Noble Messenger, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

St. Isadore of Seville - The Destruction of Jerusalem

An Arab Woman Blues. Reflections in a sealed bottle...

Syngué Sabour - Stone of Patience.

My comment on Urknet.

In the passage below (verse 40) note that Jesus says the stones will cry out.

Also see this, this is Jesus Christ speaking, does it seem a little harsh? Bring my enemies (who would not help the oppressed, by the way) and kill them. He said kill them.

His followers praised him. The Pharisees sought to kill him. There is a glut of Pharisees in America. It has long ceased to be “America the Beautiful.” It is America the Titanic, waiting for the iceberg.

See this from below: Lk:19:42 “If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round and straiten thee on every side,
44 And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee. And they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone:”

It happened. St. Isadore of Seville gives us a good synopsis. I am going to post that on my site. It was the bloodiest thing you can imagine. It was payback from Almighty God Himself, for the crimes of the Jews. As Jesus said, elsewhere, “these are the days of vengeance.” By the way, the Christians no longer considered themselves as belonging to the Jewish Nation (hint, hint) and when they saw the approaching doom, they remembered the prophecies of Jesus and fled Jerusalem and went to Pella and were spared (this is NOT Petra in the Nabataean kingdom. It is Pella, East of Jerusalem across the river Jordan. Pella, Jordan in the hills that rise from the Jordan Valley 78 km north of Amman. Pella, known in Arabic as Tabaqat Fahl.) Not a hair on the head of the Christians was harmed. Jerusalem was a different story utterly and absolutely and entirely. Jerusalem then - And today it is the two major Zionist entities: the United States of America and Yisrael. The destruction will be absolute.

Jesus Christ.


27 But as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither and kill them before me.

35 And they brought him to Jesus. And casting their garments on the colt, they set Jesus thereon.
36 And as he went, they spread their clothes underneath in the way.
37 And when he was now coming near the descent of Mount Olivet, the whole multitude of his disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen,
38 Saying: Blessed be the king who cometh in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory on high!
39 And some of the Pharisees, from amongst the multitude, said to him: Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 To whom he said: I say to you that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.
41 ¶ And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying:
42 If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round and straiten thee on every side,
44 And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee. And they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.
45 And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein and them that bought.
46 Saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer. But you have made it a den of thieves.
47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. And the chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him.
48 And they found not what to do to him: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

Now see St. Isadore of Seville on the Destruction of Jerusalem.

71. Vespasian ruled for ten years. Vigorous in military discipline, through his fighting he restored to the republic many provinces which Nero had lost. He was unmindful of offenses and he bore lightly the insults said against him. In his second year Titus took and overthrew Jerusalem, where 1,100,000 Jews perished by famine and the sword. Beyond these, another 100,000 were publicly sold into slavery.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Christians heeded Our Lord Jesus Christ's warning in 70 A.D. and fled from Jerusalem to Pella and were not harmed.

Generation in the text in the Greek can mean a human generation or any length of time.

The emphasis in the Gospel of St. Luke is on 70 A.D.

The emphasis in the Gospel of St. Matthew is on the future.

See these two links:

Prophecy of Christ

The Punishments Of The Apostates In The Future

Generation in the text in the Greek can mean a human generation or any length of time. The emphasis in the Gospel of St. Luke is on 70 A.D.

Lk:21. 1-38
And looking on, he saw the rich men cast their gifts into the treasury.

And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in two brass mites.

And he said: Verily, I say to you that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.

For all these have of their abundance cast into the offerings of God: but she of her want hath cast in all the living that she had.

And some saying of the temple that it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said:

These things which you see, the days will come in which there shall not be left a stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down.

And they asked him, saying: Master, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign when they shall begin to come to pass?

Who said: Take heed you be not seduced: for many will come in my name, saying: I am he and the time is at hand. Go ye not therefore after them.

And when you shall hear of wars and seditions, be not terrified. These things must first come to pass: but the end is not yet presently.

Then he said to them: Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places and pestilences and famines and terrors from heaven: and there shall be great signs.

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors, for my name's sake.

And it shall happen unto you for a testimony.

Lay it up therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer:

For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay.

And you shall be betrayed by your parents and brethren and kinsmen and friends: and some of you they will put to death.

And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake.

But a hair of your head shall not perish.

In your patience you shall possess your souls.

And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with an army, then know that the desolation thereof is at hand. [This is Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Titus.]

Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains: and those who are in the midst thereof depart out: and those who are in the countries not enter into it. [The Christians heeded and were not destroyed.]

For these are the days of vengeance, that all things may be fulfilled, that are written.

But woe to them that are with child and give suck in those days: for there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captives into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles till the times of the nations be fulfilled.

And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea, and of the waves:

Men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved.

And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty.

But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.

And he spoke to them a similitude. See the fig tree and all the trees:

When they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh;

So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand.

Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled.

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

And take heed to yourselves, lest perhaps your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and the cares of this life: and that day come upon you suddenly.

For as a snare shall it come upon all that sit upon the face of the whole earth.

Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come and to stand before the Son of man.

And in the daytime, he was teaching in the temple: but at night going out, he abode in the mount that is called Olivet.

And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, to hear him.


The emphasis in the Gospel of St. Matthew is on the future.

Mt:24. 1-51
And Jesus being come out of the temple, went away. And his disciples came to shew him the buildings of the temple.

And he answering, said to them: Do you see all these things? Amen I say to you, there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone that shall not be destroyed.

And when he was sitting on mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the consummation of the world?

And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you.

For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ. And they will seduce many.

And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass: but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And there shall be pestilences and famines and earthquakes in places.

Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake.

And then shall many be scandalized and shall betray one another and shall hate one another.

And many false prophets shall rise and shall seduce many.

And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.

But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations: and then shall the consummation come.

When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand. [This is Our Lord Jesus Christ's Prophecy to be apart from the Antichrist sitting in the temple of God when Our Lord Jesus Christ returns from heaven with his elect angels.]

Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains:

And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house:

And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat.

And woe to them that are with child and that give suck in those days.

But pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the sabbath.

For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.

And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened.

Then if any man shall say to you, Lo here is Christ, or there: do not believe him.

For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect.

Behold I have told it to you, beforehand.

If therefore they shall say to you, Behold he is in the desert: go ye not out. Behold he is in the closets: believe it not.

For as lightning cometh out of the east and appeareth even into the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together.

And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light and the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of heaven shall be moved.

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. And then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty.

And he shall send his angels with a trumpet and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them.

And from the fig tree learn a parable: When the branch thereof is now tender and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh.

So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors.

Amen I say to you that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.

Heaven and earth shall pass: but my words shall not pass.

But of that day and hour no one knoweth: no, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.

And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

For, as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark:

And they knew not till the flood came and took them all away: so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.

Then two shall be in the field. One shall be taken and one shall be left.

Two women shall be grinding at the mill. One shall be taken and one shall be left.

Watch ye therefore, because you know not what hour your Lord will come.

But this know ye, that, if the goodman of the house knew at what hour the thief would come, he would certainly watch and would not suffer his house to be broken open.

Wherefore be you also ready, because at what hour you know not the Son of man will come.

Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath appointed over his family, to give them meat in season?

Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come he shall find so doing.

Amen I say to you: he shall place him over all his goods.

But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming:

And shall begin to strike his fellow servants and shall eat and drink with drunkards:

The lord of that servant shall come in a day that he hopeth not and at an hour that he knoweth not:

And shall separate him and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Complete Web site for St. Isadore of Seville and his History of the World; and the Destruction of Jerusalem and Gospel passages connected with that.

Wisdom is Justified by Her Children

Discorso della Montagna

Matteo 5

MATTEO 5:1 Vedendo le folle, Gesù salì sulla montagna e, messosi a sedere, gli si avvicinarono i suoi discepoli.

MATTEO 5:2 Prendendo allora la parola, li ammaestrava dicendo:

MATTEO 5:3 «Beati i poveri in spirito, perché di essi è il regno dei cieli.

MATTEO 5:4 Beati gli afflitti, perché saranno consolati.

MATTEO 5:5 Beati i miti, perché erediteranno la terra.

MATTEO 5:6 Beati quelli che hanno fame e sete della giustizia, perché saranno saziati.

MATTEO 5:7 Beati i misericordiosi, perché troveranno misericordia.

MATTEO 5:8 Beati i puri di cuore, perché vedranno Dio.

MATTEO 5:9 Beati gli operatori di pace, perché saranno chiamati figli di Dio.

MATTEO 5:10 Beati i perseguitati per causa della giustizia, perché di essi è il regno dei cieli.

MATTEO 5:11 Beati voi quando vi insulteranno, vi perseguiteranno e, mentendo, diranno ogni sorta di male contro di voi per causa mia.

MATTEO 5:12 Rallegratevi ed esultate, perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli. Così infatti hanno perseguitato i profeti prima di voi.

MATTEO 5:13 Voi siete il sale della terra; ma se il sale perdesse il sapore, con che cosa lo si potrà render salato? A null'altro serve che ad essere gettato via e calpestato dagli uomini.

MATTEO 5:14 Voi siete la luce del mondo; non può restare nascosta una città collocata sopra un monte,

MATTEO 5:15 né si accende una lucerna per metterla sotto il moggio, ma sopra il lucerniere perché faccia luce a tutti quelli che sono nella casa.

MATTEO 5:16 Così risplenda la vostra luce davanti agli uomini, perché vedano le vostre opere buone e rendano gloria al vostro Padre che è nei cieli.

MATTEO 5:17 Non pensate che io sia venuto ad abolire la Legge o i Profeti; non son venuto per abolire, ma per dare compimento.

MATTEO 5:18 In verità vi dico: finché non siano passati il cielo e la terra, non passerà neppure un iota o un segno dalla legge, senza che tutto sia compiuto.

MATTEO 5:19 Chi dunque trasgredirà uno solo di questi precetti, anche minimi, e insegnerà agli uomini a fare altrettanto, sarà considerato minimo nel regno dei cieli. Chi invece li osserverà e li insegnerà agli uomini, sarà considerato grande nel regno dei cieli.

MATTEO 5:20 Poiché io vi dico: se la vostra giustizia non supererà quella degli scribi e dei farisei, non entrerete nel regno dei cieli.

MATTEO 5:21 Avete inteso che fu detto agli antichi: Non uccidere; chi avrà ucciso sarà sottoposto a giudizio.

MATTEO 5:22 Ma io vi dico: chiunque si adira con il proprio fratello, sarà sottoposto a giudizio. Chi poi dice al fratello: stupido, sarà sottoposto al sinedrio; e chi gli dice: pazzo, sarà sottoposto al fuoco della Geenna.

MATTEO 5:23 Se dunque presenti la tua offerta sull'altare e lì ti ricordi che tuo fratello ha qualche cosa contro di te,

MATTEO 5:24 lascia lì il tuo dono davanti all'altare e và prima a riconciliarti con il tuo fratello e poi torna ad offrire il tuo dono.

MATTEO 5:25 Mettiti presto d'accordo con il tuo avversario mentre sei per via con lui, perché l'avversario non ti consegni al giudice e il giudice alla guardia e tu venga gettato in prigione.

MATTEO 5:26 In verità ti dico: non uscirai di là finché tu non abbia pagato fino all'ultimo spicciolo!

MATTEO 5:27 Avete inteso che fu detto: Non commettere adulterio;

MATTEO 5:28 ma io vi dico: chiunque guarda una donna per desiderarla, ha gia commesso adulterio con lei nel suo cuore.

MATTEO 5:29 Se il tuo occhio destro ti è occasione di scandalo, cavalo e gettalo via da te: conviene che perisca uno dei tuoi membri, piuttosto che tutto il tuo corpo venga gettato nella Geenna.

MATTEO 5:30 E se la tua mano destra ti è occasione di scandalo, tagliala e gettala via da te: conviene che perisca uno dei tuoi membri, piuttosto che tutto il tuo corpo vada a finire nella Geenna.

MATTEO 5:31 Fu pure detto: Chi ripudia la propria moglie, le dia l'atto di ripudio;

MATTEO 5:32 ma io vi dico: chiunque ripudia sua moglie, eccetto il caso di concubinato, la espone all'adulterio e chiunque sposa una ripudiata, commette adulterio.

MATTEO 5:33 Avete anche inteso che fu detto agli antichi: Non spergiurare, ma adempi con il Signore i tuoi giuramenti;

MATTEO 5:34 ma io vi dico: non giurate affatto: né per il cielo, perché è il trono di Dio;

MATTEO 5:35 né per la terra, perché è lo sgabello per i suoi piedi; né per Gerusalemme, perché è la città del gran re.

MATTEO 5:36 Non giurare neppure per la tua testa, perché non hai il potere di rendere bianco o nero un solo capello.

MATTEO 5:37 Sia invece il vostro parlare sì, sì; no, no; il di più viene dal maligno.

MATTEO 5:38 Avete inteso che fu detto: Occhio per occhio e dente per dente;

MATTEO 5:39 ma io vi dico di non opporvi al malvagio; anzi se uno ti percuote la guancia destra, tu porgigli anche l'altra;

MATTEO 5:40 e a chi ti vuol chiamare in giudizio per toglierti la tunica, tu lascia anche il mantello.

MATTEO 5:41 E se uno ti costringerà a fare un miglio, tu fanne con lui due.

MATTEO 5:42 Dà a chi ti domanda e a chi desidera da te un prestito non volgere le spalle.

MATTEO 5:43 Avete inteso che fu detto: Amerai il tuo prossimo e odierai il tuo nemico;

MATTEO 5:44 ma io vi dico: amate i vostri nemici e pregate per i vostri persecutori,

MATTEO 5:45 perché siate figli del Padre vostro celeste, che fa sorgere il suo sole sopra i malvagi e sopra i buoni, e fa piovere sopra i giusti e sopra gli ingiusti.

MATTEO 5:46 Infatti se amate quelli che vi amano, quale merito ne avete? Non fanno così anche i pubblicani?

MATTEO 5:47 E se date il saluto soltanto ai vostri fratelli, che cosa fate di straordinario? Non fanno così anche i pagani?

MATTEO 5:48 Siate voi dunque perfetti come è perfetto il Padre vostro celeste.

Matthieu 5

5:1 ¶ Or, voyant les foules, il monta sur la montagne; et lorsqu'il se fut assis, ses disciples s'approchèrent de lui;

5:2 et ayant ouvert sa bouche, il les enseignait, disant:

5:3 ¶ Bienheureux les pauvres en esprit, car c'est à eux qu'est le royaume des cieux;

5:4 bienheureux ceux qui mènent deuil, car c'est eux qui seront consolés;

5:5 bienheureux les débonnaires, car c'est eux qui hériteront de la terre;

5:6 bienheureux ceux qui ont faim et soif de la justice, car c'est eux qui seront rassasiés;

5:7 bienheureux les miséricordieux, car c'est à eux que miséricorde sera faite;

5:8 bienheureux ceux qui sont purs de coeur, car c'est eux qui verront Dieu;

5:9 bienheureux ceux qui procurent la paix, car c'est eux qui seront appelés fils de Dieu;

5:10 bienheureux ceux qui sont persécutés à cause de la justice, car c'est à eux qu'est le royaume des cieux.

5:11 Vous êtes bienheureux quand on vous injuriera, et qu'on vous persécutera, et qu'on dira, en mentant, toute espèce de mal contre vous, à cause de moi.

5:12 Réjouissez-vous et tressaillez de joie, car votre récompense est grande dans les cieux; car on a ainsi persécuté les prophètes qui ont été avant vous.

5:13 ¶ Vous êtes le sel de la terre; mais si le sel a perdu sa saveur, avec quoi sera-t-il salé? Il n'est plus bon à rien qu'à être jeté dehors et à être foulé aux pieds par les hommes.

5:14 Vous êtes la lumière du monde: une ville située sur une montagne ne peut être cachée.

5:15 Aussi n'allume-t-on pas une lampe pour la mettre ensuite sous le boisseau, mais sur le pied de lampe; et elle luit pour tous ceux qui sont dans la maison.

5:16 Que votre lumière luise ainsi devant les hommes, en sorte qu'ils voient vos bonnes oeuvres, et qu'ils glorifient votre Père qui est dans les cieux.

5:17 ¶ Ne pensez pas que je sois venu pour abolir la loi ou les prophètes: je ne suis pas venu pour abolir, mais pour accomplir;

5:18 car, en vérité, je vous dis: Jusqu'à ce que le ciel et la terre passent, un seul iota ou un seul trait de lettre ne passera point de la loi, que tout ne soit accompli.

5:19 Quiconque donc aura supprimé l'un de ces plus petits commandements et aura enseigné ainsi les hommes, sera appelé le plus petit dans le royaume des cieux; et quiconque l'aura pratiqué et enseigné, celui-là sera appelé grand dans le royaume des cieux.

5:20 Car je vous dis que, si votre justice ne surpasse pas celle des scribes et des pharisiens, vous n'entrerez point dans le royaume des cieux.

5:21 ¶ Vous avez ouï qu'il a été dit aux anciens: "Tu ne tueras pas; et quiconque tuera, sera passible du jugement".

5:22 Mais moi, je vous dis que quiconque se met en colère légèrement contre son frère sera passible du jugement; et quiconque dira à son frère: "Raca", sera passible du jugement du sanhédrin; et quiconque dira "fou", sera passible de la géhenne du feu.

5:23 Si donc tu offres ton don à l'autel, et que là il te souvienne que ton frère a quelque chose contre toi,

5:24 laisse là ton don devant l'autel, et va d'abord: réconcilie-toi avec ton frère; et alors viens et offre ton don.

5:25 Mets-toi promptement d'accord avec ta partie adverse, pendant que tu es en chemin avec elle, de peur que ta partie adverse ne te livre au juge, et que le juge ne te livre au sergent, et que tu ne sois jeté en prison;

5:26 en vérité, je te dis: Tu ne sortiras point de là, jusqu'à ce que tu aies payé le dernier quadrant.

5:27 ¶ Vous avez ouï qu'il a été dit: "Tu ne commettras pas adultère".

5:28 Mais moi, je vous dis que quiconque regarde une femme pour la convoiter, a déjà commis adultère avec elle dans son coeur.

5:29 Mais si ton oeil droit est pour toi une occasion de chute, arrache-le et jette-le loin de toi; car il est avantageux pour toi qu'un de tes membres périsse, et que tout ton corps ne soit pas jeté dans la géhenne.

5:30 Et si ta main droite est pour toi une occasion de chute, coupe-la et jette-la loin de toi; car il est avantageux pour toi qu'un de tes membres périsse, et que tout ton corps ne soit pas jeté dans la géhenne.

5:31 Il a été dit aussi: "Si quelqu'un répudie sa femme, qu'il lui donne une lettre de divorce".

5:32 Mais moi, je vous dis que quiconque répudiera sa femme, si ce n'est pour cause de fornication, la fait commettre adultère; et quiconque épousera une femme répudiée, commet adultère.

5:33 ¶ Vous avez encore ouï qu'il a été dit aux anciens: "Tu ne te parjureras pas, mais tu rendras au *Seigneur tes serments".

5:34 Mais moi, je vous dis de ne pas jurer du tout; ni par le ciel, car il est le trône de Dieu;

5:35 ni par la terre, car elle est le marchepied de ses pieds; ni par Jérusalem, car elle est la ville du grand Roi.

5:36 Tu ne jureras pas non plus par ta tête, car tu ne peux faire blanc ou noir un cheveu.

5:37 Mais que votre parole soit: Oui, oui; non, non; car ce qui est de plus vient du mal.

5:38 ¶ Vous avez ouï qu'il a été dit: "Oeil pour Oeil, et dent pour dent".

5:39 Mais moi, je vous dis: Ne résistez pas au mal; mais si quelqu'un te frappe sur la joue droite, présente-lui aussi l'autre;

5:40 et à celui qui veut plaider contre toi et t'ôter ta tunique, laisse-lui encore le manteau;

5:41 et si quelqu'un veut te contraindre de faire un mille, vas-en deux avec lui.

5:42 Donne à qui te demande, et ne te détourne pas de qui veut emprunter de toi.

5:43 ¶ Vous avez ouï qu'il a été dit: "Tu aimeras ton prochain, et tu haïras ton ennemi".

5:44 Mais moi, je vous dis: Aimez vos ennemis, bénissez ceux qui vous maudissent, faites du bien à ceux qui vous haïssent, et priez pour ceux qui vous font du tort et vous persécutent,

5:45 en sorte que vous soyez les fils de votre Père qui est dans les cieux; car il fait lever son soleil sur les méchants et sur les bons, et envoie sa pluie sur les justes et sur les injustes.

5:46 Car si vous aimez ceux qui vous aiment, quelle récompense avez-vous? Les publicains même n'en font-ils pas autant?

5:47 Et si vous saluez vos frères seulement, que faites-vous de plus que les autres? Les nations même ne font-elles pas ainsi?

5:48 Vous, soyez donc parfaits, comme votre Père céleste est parfait.

La charité et l'aide sincère pour les frères et soeurs de chacun d'entre nous.

Quand tout le mal dans le monde vous fait sauter dans les fragments, comment ramasse-t-on les fragments ? Une personne sarcastique a dit 'avec un aspirateur.' Mal dicton. Le sarcasme n'est pas la voie.

Jésus Christ est venu pour cela. Ramasser les morceaux. Ainsi comment les ramasser. Quelle est la voie ? Avec la douceur et l'amour. Opposez-vous par tous les moyens au mal. Mais nous tous, donc je dois, être doux et aimant à ceux-là qui font mal.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009


St. Ephrem of Syria

St. Ephem of Syria. That is ancient Syria. Don't confuse that with modern lines of demarcation limiting what we are talking about to the state now called Syria. It is Mesopotamia. Ancient Assyria in Old Testament times before there was even a province, either Roman, or before that Greek, dominated, called Syria. Modern day Iraq and Syria and Lebanon and the eastern half of Iran in other words (page 57 map, Times Atlas of World History, 1984 edition, for you who doubt the extent of ancient Old Testament Assyria). St. Ephrem is the light and glory of the Syriac Church. St. Ephrem is important to me since I was baptized on his feastday (by the Traditional Roman Calendar).

St. Ephrem is the example for our time. He lived in the fourth century A.D. The Syriac culture that he lived in and especially his writings (I love his Hymns for the Nativity of Christ) demonstrate the rich appreciation of his culture going back to the earliest of the Biblical post flood Patriarchs. He lived in the area that was the nexus of the Roman and Persian empires. It was an equal opportunity area for being persecuted for one's Christian faith. The pagan Roman (not all were, some were Christian, it varied in the fourth century) and Persian emperors had a hobby, throughout the fourth century. They took turns persecuting the Christians in this area. The motivation for the pagans to do this was strictly political. Those represented today by the "Res publica," become a totalitarian empire, while clinging to the image of a republic (long dead), are obviously the American Zionist Occupation Forces. Those represented today by the Persian empire, are obviously the Persian (Iranian) Shiite militias. This isn't the first time. But it is just as evil. What was St. Ephrem's response in his day? It was to hold fast to his Christian faith and oppose the gnostic heretics (today those heretics are the "Christian Zionists" and the American Occupation "chaplains" etc.) and he did one more thing. He built hospitals for those who were sorely sounded by natural disasters and unjust evil war. No wonder he is venerated.

From their search engine on Iraq, see this, it is most telling. End the occupations now.

This is a link as well as a title.

Meeting of Oriental Orthodox Heads

at the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia Antelias, Lebanon; October 18, 2003

Saturday, October 18, 2003

" 'We believe that the peace process must be reactivated, and that the Palestinian people must have its independent state and the right to return to its homeland. Israel must implement all Resolutions of the U.N. Security Council by withdrawing from the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including the Farms of Shabaa in South of Lebanon, Golan Heights and Jerusalem. Only justice will bring about comprehensive, real and permanent peace in the Middle East.'

'Iraq must regain its independence, integrity and sovereignty. All occupying forces must soon leave Iraq and the nation-building process must start with the participation of all the communities in Iraq.' "

ANTELIAS, LEBANON – On Saturday, October 18, 2003 at the end of the annual meeting of the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Church, His Holiness Patriarch Zakka I of the Syrian Church and His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Armenian Church-Catholicosate of Cilicia signed a common declaration underlining their concerns and perspectives related to the active participation of their faithful in Evangelism, Diakonia, Christian education, theological formation and youth involvement as the genuine expressions of life and witness of their Churches. Additionally, issues related to theological dialogues and ecumenical collaboration on global and regional levels, as well as human rights, social justice, peace and inter-faith relations were discussed and highlighted.

On Friday evening, October 17, 2003, His Holiness Aram I hosted an official dinner at the Catholicosate in honor of His Holiness Shenouda III and His Holiness Zakka I. The dinner was attended by 150 guests, including the representatives of the President of the Republic, His Excellency General Emil Lahoud, of the Speaker of the Parliament, His Excellency Mr. Nabih Berri, and of the Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr. Rafik Hariri, and Christian and Muslim spiritual leaders, dignitaries of the diplomatic corps and leaders of the Armenian community.

His Holiness Aram I addressed the guests and indicated that the meeting of the three Spiritual Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches is the manifestation of Christian unity, inter-religious and ecumenical cooperation and expression of a living faith.

The following common declaration of the three Heads was read at the end of the dinner:


October 17, 2003


In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Greetings to you all with the spirit of Christian love and fellowship.

We, Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenians of the Great House of Cilicia, give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for granting us, once again, the opportunity to pray together and to reflect together on issues of common concern, at the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, in Antelias, Lebanon. This is the sixth time that we come together as Heads of Churches, with the members of the Standing Committee we had appointed, within the framework of our fellowship that we initiated in 1998.

At our meeting here in Antelias, we have reaffirmed our unity of faith that, for centuries, has been the basis of our common doctrinal positions and theological teachings. Deeply rooted in the Holy Scriptures, the Apostolic Faith and Tradition, the three Ecumenical Councils (Nicea, 325, Constantinople, 381, and Ephesus, 431) and the teachings of our Church Fathers, our unity has sustained the life and witness of the Churches of the Oriental Orthodox Family and became a living source of spiritual strength and missionary engagement in the midst of the upheavals and vicissitudes of our respective histories. For the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the unity of faith is the basis of eucharistic inter-communion and the manifestation of the visible unity of the church.

The unity of the Church is a gift of God; it must be preserved and deepened. It is also a call and a responsibility; it must be responded to seriously. Hence, our unity of faith must acquire concrete manifestations and touch the life of our people through common witness and joint engagement, particularly in the area of religious and moral education, theological formation and social diakonia.

Our unity of faith must also be shared by other churches, both in the Middle East and in different parts of the world. Indeed, the visible unity of the church is a common Christian goal. It is with this spirit and commitment that our Churches are actively engaged in bilateral theological dialogues and in ecumenical collaboration with many churches, world Communions and regional and global ecumenical structures. The World Council of Churches, as a global ecumenical fellowship, and the Middle East Council of Churches, as a regional ecumenical fellowship, are of particular importance for our Churches. We will continue our active ecumenical role in these ecumenical structures.

Besides the inter-church collaboration, we consider inter-religious relations and dialogue to be imperative. Being integral to the history, civilizations and cultures of the Middle East, our Churches have been in constant and existential dialogue with Islam. This dialogue of life, based on mutual understanding, trust and respect, must continue with renewed emphasis and broader perspectives, particularly on the level of the people.

The Coptic Orthodox, the Syrian Orthodox and the Armenian Orthodox Churches have played a significant role in all major initiatives, processes and actions in our region leading it to greater justice, peace and prosperity. We cannot remain aloof and indifferent in the face of the prevailing situation in the Middle East.

We believe that the peace process must be reactivated, and that the Palestinian people must have its independent state and the right to return to its homeland. Israel must implement all Resolutions of the U.N. Security Council by withdrawing from the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, including the Farms of Shabaa in South of Lebanon, Golan Heights and Jerusalem. Only justice will bring about comprehensive, real and permanent peace in the Middle East.

Iraq must regain its independence, integrity and sovereignty. All occupying forces must soon leave Iraq and the nation-building process must start with the participation of all the communities in Iraq.

Our region is at a critical juncture of its history. We must be alert and exercise utmost responsibility in addressing the issues and concerns of the Middle East. We condemn all kinds of threats against the Arab countries and especially attacks on Lebanon and Syria.

We also condemn all forms and expressions of violence in our region and everywhere in the world. Religion, in its proper understanding, is a promoter of love and reconciliation, peace and justice. We urge all those who, for one reason or other, are in conflict to resolve their problems through dialogue and mutual understanding.

We warmly greet the President of the Republic of Lebanon, His Excellency General Emil Lahoud, the Heads of all communities and the people of Lebanon. We give thanks to God that, after a long period of destruction and conflict, Lebanon now is in a promising process of reconstruction and reconciliation. As Spiritual Heads we extend our full support to this process. Indeed, the Christian-Muslim co-existence constitutes the very identity of Lebanon.

As we conclude our Sixth Meeting in Antelias, we appeal to our Churches to remain faithful to the Gospel by living out its values and imperatives in their daily life, and by participating more actively in the life and witness of the church. Our collaboration must continue to give a renewed efficiency and vitality to the witness of our Churches, especially in its educational, moral, theological, diaconal, evangelistic and ecumenical aspects.

The family is a sacred institution established by our Lord Jesus Christ. The sacredness and integrity of Christian family must be preserved. Hence, we condemn all practices and behaviors related to marriage and sexual orientation that are not in accord with the biblical and moral teachings. In view of the emerging trends and challenges that jeopardize the credibility of Christian moral teachings and spiritual values and traditions, we appeal to our people to preserve their Christian identity and keep their faithfulness to the Gospel message.

We also appeal to our communities living in different parts of the world to remain firmly attached to their native lands by supporting all initiatives and actions that promote peace with justice in the Middle East, as well as mutual respect and understanding among religions and nations.

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Shenouda III
Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Mar Ignatius Zakka I
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Aram I
Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia


SOL News


The Two Holy Books, the Qur'an and Bible

Compare the Noble Qur'an and the Holy Bible

They speak of the same God and the same commandments given to men.

Assalaam Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuhu,
Welcome to the translation of the Holy Quran Online.

The Holy Qur'an

Greek Bible

Latin Bible

Coptic Church - Arabic English Online Bible


The Hadith remind me of Church writings through the centuries.

The Final Trial: Catholicism and Islam - shared truth

Allah is from ancient Hebrew Eloah which is a name in the Bible recognized by Catholics as a name of God. Catholics in the Mediterranean whose particular language uses Allah as the name of God have for centuries prayed to God, by the name of Allah.

The Muslims recite this prayer daily a number of times.

"In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate!
Praise be to Allah, who the worlds made,
The Merciful, the Compassionate,
The King of the day of judgment,
Thee do we worship, and of Thee do we ask aid.
Guide us to the path that is straight
The path of those to whom Thy love is great,
Not those on whom is hate,
Nor they that err. Amen.

Catholics recite this one.
(Jesus never said that the Father is a Father in the sense of physically having relations with Mary. That is the pagan god Zeus with Leto. It has nothing to do with the Christian faith. Both Christians and Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Christ.)

Our Father Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

37 Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole strength.
38 This is the greatest and the first commandment.
39 And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Muslims call Jesus:

"the Messiah Jesus Son of Mary," or "the blessed Son of Mary."

Christians call Jesus:

"Jesus Christ born of Mary" Christ is the Greek for Messiah.

Muslim description of Paradise for the saved after the judgement:

"Joyous on that day shall be the inhabitants of Paradise in their employ;
In shades, on bridal couches reclining, they and their spouses:
Therein shall they have fruits, and whatever they require
Peace! shall be the word on the part of a merciful Lord.
But be ye separated this day, O ye sinners!"

"The sincere servants of God
A stated banquet shall they have
Of fruits; and honored shall they be
In the gardens of delight,
Upon couches face to face.
A cup shall be borne round among them from a fountain,
Limpid, delicious to those who drink;
It shall not oppress the sense, nor shall they therewith be drunken,
And with them are the large-eyed ones with modest refraining glances,
fair like the sheltered egg."

Christian description of Paradise for the saved after the judgement:

Revelation, chapter 22:

The River and Tree of Life

1 ¶ And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. ... Scripture reference - Ezek. 47:1!

2 In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month: the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations. ... Scripture reference - Ezek. 47:12!

The Throne of God and of the Lamb

3 And there shall be no curse any more: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it. And his servants shall serve him. ... Scripture reference - Zach. 14:1!

4 And they shall see his face: and his name shall be on their foreheads. ... Scripture reference - Ps. 41:3; Mt. 5:8; Rev. 3:12; 14:1

5 And night shall be no more. And they shall not need the light of the lamp, nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall enlighten then. And they shall reign for ever and ever. ... Scripture reference - Rev. 21:25; 21:23; Isaiah: 60:19!; Rev.20:6; Dan. 7:18


The following are some verses from the Holy Qur'an, Islam's Holy Book, which according to the teachings of Islam, contain all the Words of God, which were directly recited and dictated to the Prophet Mohammad by the Archangel Gabriel, which affirm that the Christ Jesus, the son of the Virgin Mary, came to this earth in the flesh. No faith other than Christianity, states and affirms that fact.

"And the angels said: O Maryam (Mary), God has chosen you and purified you, and chosen you above all women of creation."
(The Holy Quran 2 : 42)


" The angels said: O Maryam (Mary), God gives you the good tidings of a Word from Him, his name is The Messiah (Christ ) Jesus, The son of Maryam (Mary), held in honor in this world and the hereafter, and of the nearest to God."

(The Holy Quran 3 : 45)


"And She (Mary), who fortified (preserved) her womb, and We breathed into her from Our Spirit, and We made her and her son a beacon to all creation."

(The Holy Quran 21: 91)


" ... And We gave Jesus the Son of Maryam (Mary)
the truths, and We supported him with the Holy Spirit...."

(The Holy Quran 2: 87)


The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and his ascent to God is also affirmed In the Holy Qur'an as follows:

" And God said: Oh Jesus! I am causing you to die, and lifting you up to Me, and cleansing you of those who blasphemed, and making those who follow you above those who blasphemed, until the Day of Resurrection..."

(The Holy Quran 3:55)

The Religion of Islam came initially to the Arab people, the descendants of Ishmael, the first born son of Prophet Abraham, through the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), during the Seventh Century, A.D., and Islam spread all over the world, until the Muslims are now 1.5 billion in number, including 450 million Arabs. And the Arabs, including the Palestinians, the descendants of Ishmael were directly and unconditionally, blessed by God in the Holy Bible, and described as "Princes":

"As for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation."

(Genesis 17:20)


"And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said unto her, What aileth thee Hagar? Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand: for I will make him a great nation."

(Genesis 21:17-18)







1 ¶ Woe to you that devise that which is unprofitable, and work evil in your beds: in the morning light they execute it, because their hand is against God.
2 And they have coveted fields, and taken them by violence, and houses they have forcibly taken away: and oppressed a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.
3 Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold I devise an evil against this family: from which you shall not withdraw your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for this is a very evil time.

During the second half of the nineteenth Century, the multitude of the antichrist, calling themselves Zionist Ashkenazim* Jews, came together and their financial and political strength and influence, rose and increased greatly and spread across Europe and America, and they started to conspire to seize Palestine, the Holy Land, the land of Christ Jesus for themselves, and establish there, a headquarters and state, where the mention of Christ, who lived and preached and walked in that Holy Land, would be silenced forever! [according to their plan]

Theodor Herzl, an Austrian Ashkenazim Jewish Zionist journalist, and activist, became the principal spokesman and advocate for the Zionist plot, and he wrote his pamphlet, entitled "THE JEWISH STATE", which he published on February 14, 1896. In it he wrote: "When we sink , we become a revolutionary proletariat , the subordinate officers of all revolutionary parties; and at the same time, when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse." (emphasis added)

Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress, and gathered 204 delegates, at Basle, Switzerland between August 29-31, 1897, and they met in the gambling casino there, and they adopted the resolution stating that the aim of Zionism is to create, for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law, and in his diary entry, dated September 3, 1897, Herzl wrote: "At Basle, I founded the Jewish state..."

However, at that time, Herzl and every Zionist delegate knew that Palestine, the Holy Land of Christ, was fully inhabited by the Palestinian Arab People, most of whom were the descendants of Abraham, who continued to live in that Holy Land, and who as Moslems and Christians, fervently believed that Christ Jesus, the son of the Virgin Mary, came in the flesh, and will return.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Assyrians After Assyria

Assyrians After Assyria

This lecture was given by Professor Simo Parpola from the University of Helsinki during the 66th Assyrian Convention, held in Los Angeles on September 4, 1999.

In 612 BC, after a prolonged civil war, Assyria's two former vassals, the Babylonians and the Medes, conquered and destroyed Nineveh, the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The great city went up in flames, never to regain its former status. Three years later the same rebels razed Assyria's Western metropolis, Harran, crushing the last-ditch resistance of Assyria's last king, Ashur-uballit II. This event sealed the fate of the Assyrian Empire, and that is where the story of Assyria usually ends in history books.

What happened to the Assyrians after the fall of Assyria? This is a question that is not easy to answer for two reasons. Firstly, the issue has hardly been touched by Assyriologists. Most of them seem to tacitly agree with the idea of a more or less total wipe-out, as suggested by Sidney Smith in 1925: "The disappearence of the Assyrian people will always remain a unique and striking phenomenon in ancient history. Other, similar kingdoms and empires have indeed passed away but the people have lived on... No other land seems to have been sacked and pillaged so completely as was Assyria."

Secondly, in contrast to the abundance of information from the imperial period, information on post-empire Assyria and Assyrians is scanty and scattered. The near-total lack of information from Assyria itself would seem to support the idea of a genocide, which also seems to be supported by ancient eye-witness testimonies. When the Greek historian Xenophon 200 years after Nineveh's fall passed through the Assyrian heartland and visited the sites of two great Assyrian cities, he found nothing but ruin and could not retrieve much about them from the nearby villagers. The territory where these deserted cities lay was now Median, and the Greeks assumed that their former inhabitants had likewise been Medes.

Yet it is clear that no such thing as a wholesale massacre of all Assyrians ever happened. It is true that some of the great cities of Assyria were utterly destroyed and looted -- archaeology confirms this --, some deportations were certainly carried out, and a good part of the Assyrian aristocracy was probably massacred by the conquerors. However, Assyria was a vast and densely populated country, and outside the few destroyed urban centers life went on as usual. This is proved by a recently discovered post-imperial archive from the Assyrian provincial capital Dur-Katlimmu, on the Chabur river, which contains business documents drawn up in Assyrian cuneiform more than a decade after the fall of Nineveh. Apart from the fact that these documents are dated by the regnal years of a Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II, nothing in their formulation or external appearance would suggest that they were not written under the Assyrian Empire. Another small archive discovered in Assur, written in a previously unknown, presumably Mannean variety of cuneiform, proves that Assyrian goldsmiths still worked in the city in post-empire times, though now under Median command.

Moreover, over a hundred Assyrians with distinctively Assyrian names have recently been identified in economic documents from many Babylonian sites dated between 625 and 404 BC, and many more Assyrians undoubtedly remain to be identified in such documents. We do not know whether these people were deportees or immigrants from Assyria; their families may have settled in Babylonia already under the Assyrian rule. In any case, they unequivocally prove the survival of many Assyrians after the empire and the continuity of Assyrian identity, religion and culture in post-empire times. Many of these names contain the divine name Ashur, and some of the individuals concerned occupied quite high positions: one Pan-Ashur-lumur was the secretary of the crown prince Cambyses under Cyrus II in 530 BC.

Distinctively Assyrians names are also found in later Aramaic and Greek texts from Assur, Hatra, Dura-Europus and Palmyra, and continue to be attested until the beginning of the Sasanian period. These names are recognizable from the Assyrian divine names invoked in them; but whereas earlier the other name elements were predominantly Akkadian, they now are exclusively Aramaic. This coupled with the Aramaic script and language of the texts shows that the Assyrians of these later times no longer spoke Akkadian as their mother tonger. In all other respects, however, they continued the traditions of the imperial period. The gods Ashur, Sherua, Istar, Nanaya, Bel, Nabu and Nergal continued to be worshiped in Assur at least until the early third century AD; the local cultic calendar was that of the imperial period; the temple of Ashur was restored in the second century AD; and the stelae of the local rulers resemble those of Assyrian kings in the imperial period. It is also worth pointing out that many of the Aramaic names occurring in the post-empire inscriptions and graffiti from Assur are already attested in imperial texts from the same site that are 800 years older.

Assur was by no means the only city where Assyrian religion and cults survived the fall of the empire. The temple of Sin, the great moon god of Harran, was restored by the Babylonian king Nabonidus in the mid-sixth century BC, and the Persian king Cyrus claims to have returned Ishtar of Nineveh to her temple in Nineveh. Classical sources attest to the continuity of Assyrian cults in other Syrian cities until late antiquity; in Harran, the cults of Sin, Nikkal, Bel, Nabu, Tammuz and other Assyrian gods persisted until the 10th century AD and are still referred to in Islamic sources. Typically Assyrian priests with their distinctive long conical hats and tunics are depicted on several Graeco-Roman monuments from Northern Syria and East Anatolia.

We know little of the political status of Assyria in the decades following its fall, but it seems that the western part of the Empire as far as the Tigris fell into the hands of the Babylonians, while the eastern Transtigridian areas, including the Assyrian heartland north of Assur, came under Median rule. Under the Achaemenid Empire, the western areas annexed to Babylonia formed a satrapy called Athura (a loanword from Imperial Aramaic Athur, "Assyria"), while the Assyrian heartland remained incorporated in the satrapy of Mada (Old Persian for "Media"). Both satrapies paid yearly tribute and contributed men for the military campaigns and building projects of the Persian kings. Assyrian soldiers participated in the expedition of Xerxes against Greece (480 BC) according to Herodotus, and Assyrians from both Athura and Mada participated in the construction of the palace of Darius at Susa (500-490 BC).

Interestingly, it was the "Median" Assyrians who executed the gold works and glazing of this palace, whereas the Assyrians from the satrapy of Athura provided the timber for the palace from Mt. Lebanon. In the Babylonian version of the Persian inscription, the name Athura is at this point rendered Eber nari, "land beyond the river (Euphrates)." This shows that the Western, originally Aramean, half of the Assyrian Empire was already at this time firmly identified with Assyria proper, an important issue to which we shall return later on.

We thus see that by Achaemenid times, Assyria, though split in two, had re-emerged as a political entity of considerable military and economic strength. In 520 BC, both Athura and Mada joined the revolt against Darius, trying to regain their independence. This revolt was a failure, but in a sense the Assyrian Empire had already been re-established long ago. Actually, in the final analysis, it had never been destroyed at all but had just changed ownership: first to Babylonian and Median dynasties, and then to a Persian one.

Contemporaries and later Greek historians did not make a big distinction between the Assyrian Empire and its successors: in their eyes, the "monarchy" or "universal hegemony" first held by the Assyrians had simply passed to or been usurped by other nations. For example, Ctesias of Cnidus writes: "It was under [Sardanapallos] that the empire (hegemonia) of the Assyrians fell to the Medes, after it had lasted more than thirteen hundred years."

The Babylonian king Nabonidus, who reigned sixty years after the fall of Nineveh and actually originated from an Assyrian city, Harran, refers to Ashurbanipal and Esarhaddon as his "royal forefathers." His predecessor Nebuchadnezzar and the Persian kings Cyrus and Artaxerxes are correspondingly referred to as "Kings of Assyria" in Greek historical tradition and in the Bible. Strabo, writing at the time of the birth of Christ, tells us that "the customs of the Persians are like those of the Assyrians," and calls Babylon a "metropolis of Assyria" (which it, of course, in fact was too, having been completely destroyed and rebuilt by the Assyrians in the early seventh century BC).

The Babylonian, Median and Persian empires should thus be seen (as they were seen in antiquity) as successive versions of the same multinational power structure, each resulting from an internal power struggle within this structure. In other words, the Empire was each time reborn under a new leadership, with political power shifting from one nation to another.

Of course, the Empire changed with each change of leadership. On the whole, however, the changes were relatively slight, one could almost say cosmetic only. The language of the ruling elite changed, of course, first from Assyrian to Babylonian, Median, and Persian, and finally to Greek. In its dress the elite likewise followed its national customs, and it naturally venerated its own gods, from whom its power derived. Thus Ashur was replaced
as imperial god first by the Babylonian Marduk, and then by the Iranian Ahura Mazda, Greek Zeus, etc.

On the whole, however, the old structures of the Empire prevailed or in the long run gained the upper hand. Cuneiform writing (now in its Babylonian, Elamite and Old Persian forms) continued to be used for monumental inscriptions. Aramaic retained the status of imperial lingua franca which it had attained under the Assyrian Empire. The gods of the new elites gradually became assimilated to Assyrian gods. The supreme god of the Persians, Ahura Mazda, was now represented by the winged disk of Ashur; the Iranian goddess Anahita acquired features of the goddess Ishtar and finally became to all practical purposes fully assimilated to her. The same happened to the god Mithra, who was transformed into the Iranian equivalent of the Assyrian savior gods Nabu and Ninurta.

The list could be made much longer. The Assyrian calendar and month names remained in use in the whole Near East, as they still do today. So did other imperial standards and measures, the taxation and conscription system, royal ideology in general, the symbolism of imperial art, organization of the court, court ceremony, diplomatic practices, and so on. The continuity of Assyrian imperial culture was certainly aided by the fact that the Babylonians and Medes had for centuries been vassals of Assyria, while the Persians, as former vassals of the Elamites and the Medes, had long been subjected to Assyrial cultural influence. Both conquerors of Nineveh, the Babylonian Nabopolassar and Median Kyaxares, had previously served as Assyrian governors in their respective countries.

Thus, the Assyrian Empire continued to live on despite the fact that the Assyrians themselves were no longer in control of it. However, they still contributed to its government and expansion. From an analysis of the inscriptions of Nabonidus we know that this Babylonian king employed scribes who had been trained in Assyria and were familiar with its literary traditions; later on, the same scribes served the Persian king, Cyrus. The role of Assyrian artists in the construction of Susa and Persepolis has already been referred to. The governorship of the Persian satrapy Athura seems to have been often in the hands of Assyrians. The Book of Ezra (ca. 450 BC) refers to a governor with the name Sanballat (Assyrian Sin-ballit), and the Greek historian Xenophon writing in 400 BC mentions a governor with the Aramaic name Abracomas.

The Greek historian Thucydides reports that during the Peloponnesian wars (ca. 410 BC), the Athenians intercepted a Persian named Artaphernes, who was carrying a message from the Great King to Sparta. The man was taken prisoner, brought to Athens, and the letters he was carrying were translated "from the Assyrian language." The language in question of course was Aramaic, which, as already noted, continued as the lingua franca in the Achaemenid Empire, as it had done in Assyria.

We thus see that two hundred years after its fall, the Empire created by the Assyrians and its language were still prominently associated with Assyria, and this with a markedly Aramaic tint. This state of affairs continued under the Macedonian rulers of the Seleucid Empire. The area of the Seleucid kingdom initially largely covered that of the Assyrian Empire, and its capital soon moved from Babylonia to Syria/Assyria. Despite the heavily Greek orientation of the ruling elite and the imposition of Greek as the official language, the Seleucid kings were commonly referred to in Greek sources as "kings of Syria," a designation that still retained a strong association with Assyria.

The Greek word Syria and the adjectives Syrios and Syros derived from it are originally simple phonetic variants of Assyria and Assyrios, with aphaeresis of the unstressed first syllable. The dropping of the first syllable is already attested in Imperial Aramaic spellings of Ashur, and the variation in Greek is thus likely to derive from corresponding variation in Aramaic. In Greek texts, both variants are usually freely interchangeable and can refer to both the Persian province Athura and the Assyrian Empire. For example, Strabo writes that "the city of Ninus was wiped out immediately after the overthrow of the Syrians," while his older contemporary Diodorus, quoting Herodotus, writes that "after the Assyrians had ruled Asia for five hundred years they were conquered by the Medes." Only in Roman times, do the two forms start to acquire the distinct meanings that Assyria and Syria have today.

Syria and Assyria are still interchangeable and refer to the Assyrian Empire in the Geography of Strabo, who however makes a distinction between Assyrians at large and the Assyrian homeland on the Tigris, to which he refers to as Aturia/Assyria:

The country of the Assyrians borders on Persis and Susiana. This name is given to Babylonia and to much of the country all around, which latter, in part, is also called Aturia, in which are Ninus [...], Nisibis, as far as the Zeugma of the Euphrates, as also much of the country on the far side of the Euphrates ... and those people who in a special sense of the term are called by the men of today Syrians, who extend as far as the Cilicians and the Phoenicians and the sea that is opposite the Aegyptian Sea and the Gulf of Issus. It seems that the name of the Syrians extended not only from Babylonia to the gulf of Issus, but also in ancient times from this gulf to the Euxine... When those who have written histories of the Syrian empire say that the Medes were overthrown by the Persians and the Syrians by the Medes, they mean by the Syrians no other people than those who built the royal palaces in Babylon and Ninus; and, of these Syrians, Ninus was the man who founded Ninus in Aturia, and his wife, Semiramis, was the woman who succeeded her husband and founded Babylon. These two gained the mastery of Asia... But later the empire passed over to the Medes.

Two generations later, Pliny the Elder (ca. AD 70), while utilizing the work of Strabo, already prefers the name Assyria for the Empire. His contemporary Flavius Josephus likewise consistently refers to the Empire as Assyria, and uses Syria in referring to the Seleucid Empire and the Roman province of Syria. This terminology anticipates the situation after the reign of Trajan, who after his campaign against the Parthians (AD 116) created a province called Assyria in the east, probably annexing the semi-independent state of Adiabene which the Assyrians had succeeded in establishing in their ancient homeland.

The new distinction made between Syria (in the west) and Assyria (in the east) recalls the split of the Assyrian Empire into the Achaemenid satrapies Athura and Mada and can be explained as follows.

In the Strabo passage just cited, the adjective Syros is used both in a historical sense referring to inhabitants of the Assyrian Empire and as an ethno-linguistic designation referring to speakers of Aramaic who identified themselves as Assyrians. The area called "Syro-Media" was the Assyrianized part of Media where Aramaic was commonly spoken instead of Iranian languages. This entire Aramaic-speaking area, that is Assyria/Syria, had long been controlled by the Seleucid Empire. At the time when the Seleucid state was annexed to the Roman Empire, 64 BC, its area had however shrunken to encompass only the Transeuphratian part of Assyria/Syria, which now became the Roman province of Syria. As the remnant of the Seleucid Empire, this area still was strongly identified with Assyria; there was no need to distinguish it from ancient Assyria. Only later, when the Roman Empire expanded further eastward, there arose a need for further distinctions. The name Syria now became established for the Roman province, while Assyria was reserved for the Transtigridian Aturia/Adiabene and by and by for ancient Assyria as well. It is likely that this distinction reflects linguistic realities, the Aramaic words for Assyria having lost the initial syllable in the west but retained it in the eastern dialects.

To sum up the long discussion: whatever their later meanings, in Greek and Latin usage, Syria and Assyria originally both referred to the Assyrian Empire, while speakers of Aramaic were identified as Assyrians and the script they used as Assyrian script. How, when and why did this intrinsic association of Assyria and Assyrians with Arameans and Aramaic come about?

The Empire extended beyond the Euphrates already in the 12th century BC and from that point on Arameans constituted the majority of its population. In the 9th century BC, Assyrian kings initiated an active policy of assimilation and integration, the goal of which was to put a definite end to the endless revolts that had vexed the Empire in the past. The results of this new policy were soon to be seen. Rebel countries were now annexed to the Empire as new provinces, whereby hundreds of thousands of people were deported to other parts of the Empire and the annexed country was totally reorganized in Assyrian fashion. This involved imposition of a uniform taxation and conscription system, uniform standards, weights and measures, the conversion of the local royal city into an Assyrian administrative center, and, above all, the imposition of a single universal languague and script, Aramaic.

By the end of the 8th century the provincial system covered the entire Levant from Palestine to central Iran, and it was further expanded in the seventh century. At this time Aramaic was already spoken all over the Empire, and Assyrian imperial culture had been dominant everywhere for centuries.

The Aramaization of Assyria was calculated policy aimed at creating national unity and identity of a kind that could never have been achieved, had the Empire remained a loose conglomeration of a plethora of different nations and languages. And it did pay off. Even though Akkadian retained its position as the language of the ruling elite and cuneiform script continued to be used for prestige purposes, Aramaic soon became part and parcel of the imperial administration too. It was by no means the language of subjected peoples only but fully equal with Akkadian, and eventually it became the language of the ruling class as well.

Men with Aramaic names are found in high state offices from the ninth century on, and by the eighth century, every official document was drawn up both in Akkadian and Aramaic. By the beginning of the seventh century the whole ruling class was certainly fully bilingual, for most of the administrative correspondence of the Empire was now carried out in Aramaic. Many scribes who wrote in cuneiform appear to have spoken Aramaic as their first language. For example, the scribe who wrote a beautiful copy of the first tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh for the library of Ashurbanipal, made a mistake which only a speaker of Aramaic could have made: he used the cuneiform sign for "lord" for writing the word "son," Aramaic mara' "lord" being homophonic with Akkadian mara' "son."

It can be considered certain that by the end of the seventh century BC, Aramaic language and imperial culture had become essential parts of Assyrian identity. While Aramaic was the unifying language of the Empire, it was not spoken outside of it. The same also applies to the imperial culture and religion. While local gods continued to be worshipped in different parts of the Empire, the whole Empire shared the belief in a single omnipotent god and his earthly representative, the Assyrian king.

All these features survived the fall of the Assyrian Empire and helped give its successors their specifically Assyrian stamp, despite the alien customs and cultural elements introduced by the new overlords. It can even be surmised that the foreign habits of the new rulers may rather have strengthened the Assyrian identity of the masses. This will have been the case especially in the areas longest attached to Assyria, that is, the later Achaemenid/Roman province of Athura/Syria and, of course, the Assyrian heartland itself.

It goes without saying that in the centuries following Assyria's fall, Assyrian imperial culture underwent significant changes. This is but natural; even under Assyrian rule, it had constantly absorbed new impulses from all sides. The successive periods of Persian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Sasanian, and finally Arab and Turkish rule each left their lasting traces in the Assyrian cultural heritage, which now is significantly different from what it was 3,000 years ago. But the same thing has happened elsewhere, too; the Greek culture of today is not the same thing as it was in antiquity, nor are the modern Greeks. The essential thing is that the Assyrians still preserve their ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity in spite of their loss of political power and the heavy persecutions they have experienced especially in the Christian Era.

Not even the thousand years of Greek rule under the Seleucids, Romans and Byzantium were able to annihilate Aramaic as a language and Assyrian cultural identity from the Near East. On the contrary, the Seleucid Empire soon became "Syro-Macedonian." The Roman historian Livy, quoting two second century BC testimonies, Manlius and Titus Flaminius, observed that "the Macedonians of Seleuceia and Babylonia have degenerated into Syrians [and] into Parthians ... The armies of Antiochus III were all Syrians."

Several writers and philosophers of late antiquity born in Roman Syria identify themselves as Assyrians in their writings, for example the second-century bellestrist Lucian of Samosata, who introduces himself as "an Assyrian ... still barbarous in speech and almost wearing a jacket in the Assyrian style." Another second-century writer, a certain Iamblichus who wrote a novel set in Babylonia, "was a Syrian by race on both his father's and mother's side, a Syrian not in the sense of the Greeks who have settled in Syria, but of the native ones, familiar with the Syrian language and living by their customs." The famous namesake of this writer, the Neoplatonian philosopher Iamblichus also originated from Syria. The name Iamblichus is a Greek version of the Aramaic name Ia-milik, which is already attested in Assyrian imperial sources.

All these self-professed Assyrians were well-versed in Greek culture but at the same time perfectly aware of the greater antiquity and value of their own cultural heritage. The second-century Church Father Tatian, in his Oratio adversus Graecos, describes himself as "he who philosophises in the manner of barbarians, born in the land of the Assyrioi, first educated on your principles, secondly in what I now profess," and then goes on to reject Greek culture as not worth having.

I take such expressions of Assyrian identity seriously, despite the communis opinio of classicists which sees in them simply references to the writers' linguistic background and doubts the persistence of Assyrian cultural traditions in the Hellenized Near East. Yet how could such traditions not have persisted, when we know that Greeks and Romans from Plato till late antiquity kept learning spirituality and science from the Assyrians and Babylonians? The cursive nature of the Syriac script alone, from its first attestations, implies the existence of an extensive Aramean literary corpus in the post-Assyrian centuries. As noted by Fergus Millar, "the Syriac-speaking inhabitants of what had been ancient Assyria apparently did not suffer from historical 'amnesia'... [T]he Syriac Chronicle of Karka de bet Selok (present-day Kirkuk), written in about the sixth or seventh century, begins with the foundation of the city by an Assyrian king, mentions further building by Seleucus and goes on to speak of martyrdoms under the Sasanids." Such historical details would not have been possible without written records reaching back to Assyrian times.

Since Late Antiquity, Christianity in its Syriac elaboration has constituted an essential part of Assyrian identity. As I have tried to show elsewhere, conversion to Christianity was easy for the Assyrians, for many of the teachings of the early Church were consonant with the tenets of Assyrian imperial religion. In fact, it can be argued that many features and dogmas of early Christianity were based on practices and ideas already central to Assyrian imperial ideology and religion. Such features include the central role of ascetisism in Syriac Christianity, the cult of the Mother of the god, the Holy Virgin, and belief in God the Father, his Son and the Holy Spirit, formalized in the doctrine of the Trinity of God.

The Trinitarian doctrine enters Christian theology only in the third century AD. As late as in AD 260, Pope Dionysios of Rome could still be shocked by the idea of three hypostases proposed by Origen. Where did Origen get his ideas from? His teacher was Clement of Alexandria, who in his turn had been taught by an Assyrian, Tatian. We do not know exactly what part of Assyria/Syria Tatian came from, but we do know that he was an Assyrian and as such part of a religious tradition in which Trinitarian ideas had been current for centuries. I would submit there is a great likelihood that he is the ultimate source of Origen's Trinity.

For an outsider who does not know the facts it will be difficult to recognize the link between imperial Assyria and the oppressed and persecuted, Aramaic-speaking Christian Assyrians of today. And if this recognition is lacking, it will be all the more difficult for the Assyrians to regain their lost place among sovereign nations. For this reason it is
imperative that the facts establishing the link be systematically collected and presented in a way that will settle the issue definitely.

To make this possible, the State Archives of Assyria Centre of Excellence of the University of Helsinki has initiated a long-term project called MELAMMU, "divine splendor," which aims at systematically documenting
the continuity and transformation of Assyrian culture and ethnic identity in post-empire times until the present day. A central objective of MELAMMU is to create an electronic database bringing together all the relevant evidence and make it available worldwide on the Internet. The project has an international steering committee and a board of consultants representing several different branches of study, from Assyriology to classical, Iranian and religious studies. With the support of Assyrian institutions in the United States and Sweden, we hope to have the database ready and operational within a few years.

I am convinced that, once completed, MELAMMU will not only greatly boost research in Assyrian and Babylonian cultural heritage but also significantly help modern Assyrians in their struggle for a brighter future. I particularly hope that MELAMMU will become a source of inspiration for young computer-generation Assyrians and inspire them to work for the future of their nation. For they have plenty of reasons to do so with pride. They are descendants of a great nation which has given much to the culture of mankind and spread Christianity farther than any other people in antiquity.