Renaissance scholars, such as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, believed that absolute truth existed and reasoned that the only way to learn it was to study the past and the whole of human knowledge. The great thinkers of the time studied everything from ancient Greek and Roman writings, to the works of pagan, Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars. This belief in absolute truth began to change in the 16th Century, however, when the writings of an ancient Greek philosopher called Pyrrho became popular. Pyrrho believed that absolute truth did not exist and that nothing could be known for certain. To some extent, this worldview continues to this day.
Peter also defended the faith as reasonable and urged followers of Christ to 'always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have' (1 Peter 3:15).
An atheist is someone who does not believe in supernatural forces or powers. According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll, approximately 20 percent of UK residents 'do not believe there is a Spirit, God, nor life force'.
The British Museum opened to the public in 1759 in Bloomsbury, an area in central London. The collection consisted of books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, flora, fauna, medals, coins, seals and cameos that belonged to the late physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane, the inventor of hot chocolate. The collection was worth approximately £20,000. Today, the museum has more than 7 million objects, and the number of annual visitors has increased from 5,000 to nearly 6 million.
The newsboy profession dates back to the late 1800s. Most newsboys were children, some as young as six years old, who would stand at busy intersections and shout the headlines of the day.
Many people believe science and faith are incompatible. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins claimed, for example, that ‘evolution is God’s redundancy notice, his pink slip’. Not all scientists interpret the evidence in the same way, however. Oxford mathematics professor John Lennox, author of God's Undertaker - Has Science Buried God?, believes the evidence 'points to a Creator'.
‘The body of Christ’ is another term for the church as a whole, as indicated by Paul in his letter to the Church of Corinth in Greece: ‘The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink' (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). ‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it' (1 Corinthians 12:26-27).
It is also a reference to Luke 22:19, in which Jesus broke bread at the Last Supper and said, 'This is my body given to you; do this in rememberence of me'.
Although the first Christians were Jewish, the faith spread quickly throughout the Roman Empire. The New Testament makes numerous references to the empire and its leaders, including Claudius, who ruled from AD 41 to 54. Other emperors of the time included Caesar Augustus, who ruled from 27 BC to AD 14; Tiberius, who reigned at the time of Jesus' crucifixion (AD 14 to AD 37); and Caligula (AD 37 to 41).
Stories from the Odyssey, by H.L. Havell, was published in 1913. It is a collection of stories based on The Odyssey, Homer's epic poem about Odysseus, the legendary Greek king of Ithaca. The poem tells the tale of his 10-year journey home following the fall of Troy.
'But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD' (Joshua 24:15).
'Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways' (Proverbs 3:31).
Contract Bridge is a four-player card game that is closely related to Whist. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the name comes from the word Biritch (Russian Whist).
The Bible (New International Version) has 178 references relating to the poor, 55 references to the needy, and 39 references to the fatherless. Throughout the Bible, believers are reminded that caring for others - especially those in need - should be a top priority.
Christians are called to devote themselves to prayer (Colossians 4:2). They are instructed to 'pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests' (Ephesians 6:8) and to 'not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God' (Philippians 4:6).
They are also called to pray, among other things, for God's will in their lives (Romans 1:10), for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and salvation of the Israelites (Romans 10:1), for the love and knowledge of God (Philippians 1:9), and for the sick (James 5:14).
Luke 15:11-32 tells the Parable of the Lost Son, in which a young man squanders his inheritance before returning home and asking for forgiveness. The young man's father rejoices and plans a feast to celebrate his return, but the elder brother reacts in anger.
'The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, "Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!"' (Luke 15:28-30).
Paul told the Church of Corinth that God 'always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him' (2 Corinthians 2:14). And 'to the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness' (Ecclesiastes 2:26).
Daniel 7:9 and Revelation 1:14 describe Jesus as having hair as white as snow, eyes like blazing fire and feet like bronze glowing in a furnace. God is also described as 'light; in him there is no darkness at all' (1 John 1:5). Revelation 21:23 says the city of God will 'not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp'.
The word Incarnation comes from the Latin terms 'in' (in, into) and 'carno' or 'carni' (flesh): 'to make into flesh' or 'to become flesh'. The official definition, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is 'the embodiment of a diety or spirit in some earthly form'.
The word refers to the Christian belief that Jesus is God in the flesh. John 1:14 says, 'the Word became flesh'; furthermore, the New Testament refers to the man, Jesus, as 'God and Saviour'.
Christians believe in the Godhead, a term that is used three times in the New Testament: Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20 and Colossians 2:9 (King James Version). It refers to the belief that God exists in three Persons: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In other words, although there is only one God, he exists in three distinct forms.
Although the cross has become the symbol for Christianity, it actually represents 'the most wretched of deaths', according to First Century historian Josephus. He also called the act of crucifixion - nailing a human being to a cross - 'inhuman'.
World War II began on September 1, 1939, following the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. On September 3, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced on BBC Radio that Britain had declared war on Germany.
Some Christians believe the original chalice, which they call the Holy Grail, was used to collect Jesus' blood after the crucifixion. Other Christians believe the apostle Peter took the cup with him to Rome after Jesus used it at the Last Supper. Most people, Catholics in particular, simply believe the wine consecrated in mass becomes the figurative 'blood of Christ' and so all church chalices are considered sacred.
The Bible itself does not suggest Jesus' cup was of any significance.
Although most Britons were supportive of the WWII war effort, a large number of people were outspoken pacifists. Many were Christian. Nearly 60,000 men and 1,000 women applied for an exemption from military service. A tribunal decided their fate: 3,000 were given unconditional exemption; 18,000 applications were dismissed; and the rest were tasked with civilian work or registered as non-combatants.
Although many people turn away from God during wartime, there are others who find comfort in faith. WWII soldiers on the front line, especially, needed something to believe in, and often held services 'behind the bomb-shattered and the bullet-scarred walls of any building that would serve the purpose'. As one WWII soldier on the front lines explained, 'We were closer to God than we'd ever been, unlike so many services held in Canada and in England when other things were on our young minds...Never had a hymn meant so much to us as it did in those unlikely places of worship.'
Footage shot by American troops shows the horror of the concentration camps. WARNING: Graphic
According to the Catholic Church, Annointing the Sick (formerly known as Last Rites) 'commends the sick to the suffering and glorified Lord, asking that he lighten their suffering and save them.' The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the sick should be 'assisted by their pastor and the whole ecclesial community, which is invited to surround the sick in a special way through their prayers and fraternal attention.'
One of the tenets of Christianity is that Jesus saved humanity from eternal damnation when he died on the cross and descended into hell. The word Redemption, in historical terms, meant buying a slave's freedom. In a spiritual sense, Jesus paid for humanity's freedom from sin with his own life. As Paul explained to the believers in Corinth, 'You are not your own; you were bought at a price.'
The phrase 'Thy will be done' is part of the Lord's prayer, as found in Matthew 6:9-10 and Luke 11:2-4 (King James Version).
'Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.'