Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 27, 2020

Virus Prayers

(3 Minute Read. 27May2020)

How specifically should we pray in light of the Wuhan virus which continues to blast our world? Millions of people are sick or dead, health systems are overwhelmed, financial difficulties abound, and economies are staggering.

As of May 26, 2020, over 350,000 have died worldwide from the Wuhan virus (also called the China virus, coronavirus, or COVID-19). In the United States, over 1.6 million have been infected with over 98,000 deaths. (Click Wuhan Virus Stats for the latest figures on the virus from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Global Dashboard.)

My own state has over 55,000 cases and over 5,200 deaths. The county in which I live has over 8,200 cases and 950 deaths.

How should Christians pray about this awful situation? Several Scripture passages give clear guidance.

The Great Creator told King Solomon of Israel how to pray in the midst of a crisis almost 3,000 years ago.
Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:12-14)

God promises forgiveness of sin and healing from a pestilence if His people
– Humble themselves
– Pray
– Seek the Lord
– Repent of wicked ways

Simply praying for healing is not sufficient. Humility, repentance, and thirst for God are all essential, according to Yahweh’s words to King Solomon.

Jesus also gave His disciples instructions on how to pray some 2,000 years ago:
Pray, then, in this way:
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 debts
[sins], as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Matthew 6:9-13)

This brief prayer, known as the Lord’s Prayer, covers worship at the start and end, the will of God, daily needs, forgiveness for sin, and avoidance of temptation. It fits with the more general directions God gave Solomon as to how to pray for healing. The request to “deliver us from evil” in the Lord’s Prayer covers protection from the Wuhan virus.

Here are some specific suggestions on what to pray for as believers follow Yahweh’s counsel to Solomon and Jesus’ direction to His followers on how to pray regarding the Wuhan virus.

1. Pray for President Trump. Pray for God to protect him and guide him as he leads our nation through the Wuhan virus crisis.
2. Pray for wisdom for your state’s governor and for all leaders of your state, county, and city in handling this crisis.
3. Pray for those bereaved as a result of the Wuhan virus.
4. Pray for those among family, friends, neighbors, state, country, and world who may be sick or exposed to the Wuhan virus.
5. Pray for workers on the front lines – in healthcare, food supply, essential services.
6. Pray for the vitality of your local church — as a fellowship, as a community aid resource, and as an organization facing practical losses.

More generally, pray about these important connected issues:
1. Pray for God to show mercy to friends who do not know Him and to open their hearts and minds to knowledge of Him.
2. Pray for God-fearing good leaders to be elected November 3, 2020.
3. Pray for innocent life to be protected from conception to natural death.
4. Pray for the confirmation of judges who will interpret the federal and state constitutions according to their original meanings and who will not legislate from the bench.
5. Pray for our nation to be healed from the divisive political and cultural chaos we experience daily and for a restored national unity under God.

Prayer is a powerful offense and defense:
– The Great Creator made the human body, and He can protect and heal it.
– The Great Creator establishes and maintains governmental authorities. None exist outside His appointment.
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
(Romans 13:1)

Continue to implore the Great Creator to flood our nation and world with His mercy. Beg Him to heal our peoples and lands. (2 Chronicles 7:12-14)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Questions to Ponder

1. How are you praying about the Wuhan virus situation?
2. Who can you encourage today by letting them know you’re praying for them specifically?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the six prequels on the Wuhan virus:
1. The Eden Virus
2. Why the Virus?
3. Handling Virus Fear
4. Plague, Pestilence, & Pandemic
5. Virus and the Bible
6. Virus Defenses
(with video)

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 27, 2020 A.D.

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 20, 2020

Virus Defenses

(5 Minute Read plus video. 20May2020)

FLOTUS Melania Trump Wears Mask
to protect against the Wuhan virus

What can a person do in the face of the Wuhan virus which continues to ravage the world? Millions of people are sick or dead, health systems are overwhelmed, and economies are staggering.

Is there anything we as individuals can do to protect ourselves against this devastation?

As of May 19, 2020, over 320,000 have died worldwide from the Wuhan virus (also called the China virus, coronavirus, or COVID-19). In the United States, over 1.5 million have been infected with over 91,000 deaths.
(Click Wuhan Virus Stats for the latest figures on the virus from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Global Dashboard.)

My own state has over 52,000 cases and over 5,000 deaths. The county in which I live has over 8,000 cases and 926 deaths.

What can you do to reduce your likelihood of catching the Wuhan virus?

Virus Defenses

The Wuhan virus situation is extremely serious in the USA and throughout the world. It’s an unprecedented crisis for everyone.

I have written recently in Handling Virus Fear about how I am not anxious about the Wuhan virus despite its seriousness because I trust the Great Creator. Yahweh has numbered my days, and I will not live one more day or one less day than He has planned for me.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
(Psalm 139:16)

Nevertheless, I believe the old saying,
Pray to God, but row for the shore.

Thus my wife and I are doing what we can to protect ourselves from the Wuhan virus while also praying for Yahweh’s protection. Here is how my wife and I are “rowing for the shore.”

Row for the Shore

Both immunity and avoidance are key!

Fresh outdoor air and sunlight are viral disinfectants as proved during the 1918-19 Spanish Flu pandemic. We leave purchases outside in the sun for a day before bringing them inside, and we wash our hands with soap frequently, and especially after errands.
(Click Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.)

The CDC recommends people wash their hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. The Lord’s Prayer takes 20 seconds to pray, so it’s a great way both to pray in the manner that Jesus instructed and to time hand washing. Don’t just mindlessly repeat the words; pray consciously with intention, humility, and consciousness of God’s holiness.
Pray, then, in this way:
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 debts
[sins], as we forgive our debtors. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Matthew 6:9-13)

I used to only pray the Lord’s Prayer in weekly worship services. But now, many times a day, I pray it worshipfully with purpose, understanding, and faith. Just as meal times are natural reminders to pray, make it a habit to use hand washing as a reminder to pray.

We rigorously practice physical distancing. I actually object to the term “social distancing” because we are not socially distancing ourselves from people. We are in social contact with people via the phone and internet and verbally with neighbors across streets, but we are maintaining physical distance — actually significantly more than the six feet recommended by governmental authorities because I don’t think six feet is enough to prevent infection.

My wife and I wear washable masks and disposable gloves when we have to go out for supplies. We started wearing our own homemade masks even when the CDC was saying it was not necessary, because it made sense to me that a mask could help prevent infection by serving as a barrier against droplets and particles transmitting the virus.

BibleScienceGuy’s Homemade Mask
to protect against the Wuhan virus

It’s easy to make a homemade mask. Take a large piece of tightly woven fabric. I used an 18″ x 18″ cloth napkin. Fold it over twice to form a long narrow 4-ply folded rectangle of fabric. Fold the two ends in toward the middle and put large rubber bands inside the end folds to fit over your ears. We add a coffee filter, or paper towel, or piece of vacuum cleaner bag, or wet wipe inside the original folds to improve the filtering capability of the mask. We wash the mask and replace the filter after every use of the mask.

Here’s an alternate method of making a homemade mask from a sock using just a pair of scissors. Click Make a Homemade Sock Face Mask for step-by-step instructions with pictures.

We also wear glasses or goggles to limit the likelihood of viral particles reaching the mucous membranes of our eyes and infecting us that way.

We are also doing what we can to boost our immune systems. I am not a medical doctor, and I am not giving medical advice here. But readers may be interested in what my wife and I are doing to resist the virus and to stimulate our immune systems. I am simply sharing what we are doing. Do your own research and consult authorities you trust regarding what we are doing before adopting these practices.

Here are strong natural food immune system boosters that we eat regularly.
1. Citrus fruits
2. Blueberries
3. Green and red bell peppers
4. Onions and garlic
5. Broccoli
6. Spinach
7. Yogurt, Kefir, Kombucha
8. Almonds
9. Green and black tea
10. Papaya
11. Fermented foods
12. Mushrooms
13. Kiwi
14. Spices – turmeric, cinnamon, clove, ginger, curcumin, cayenne pepper. Hot spices help fight inflammation.

Here are the main anti-viral supplements we take daily:
Zinc – 15 mg
Vitamin A – 5,000 IU
Vitamin C – at least 3 grams
Vitamin D3 – 5,000 IU
Beta-glucan – 500 mg twice a week
Resveratrol – 100 mg
Astragalus – 500 mg
Black Elderberry – 1000 mg
Iodine – 150 mcg or 1 drop of 2% solution
Probiotic

Here are things we avoid because they are immune suppressants.
Alcohol
Nicotine
Statin drugs
Sugar and high-glycemic carbohydrates

Maintaining hydration is also very important in resisting disease. We divide our weight in pounds by two and drink that many ounces of water per day. For example a 180-lb person would drink 90 ounces of water per day.

Two other immunity-boosting tactics are getting plenty of sleep and enjoying wholesome humor. To cultivate sleep, we have a relaxed schedule whenever possible and welcome restorative naps.

Remember, I am not offering any of this as medical advice. I am just sharing the anti-viral steps we are taking to defend ourselves against the Wuhan virus as well as many other prevalent diseases as we “row for the shore“. Consult with your own medical advisors.

Pray While You Row

While these measures seem prudent and sensible, that is not where our peace of mind rests. At the same time we are “rowing for the shore” as described above, we consciously put our trust in Yahweh, and we pray.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord, our God. Save, O Lord. May the King answer us in the day we call. (Psalm 20:7,9)

Prayer is a powerful defense. The Great Creator made the human body, and He can protect and heal it.

Continue to implore the Great Creator to flood our nation and world with His mercy. Beg Him to heal our peoples and lands. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Here is a 3-minute YouTube video of the song Our God, He Is Alive by A. W. Dicus which offers encouragement in these perilous times. He has created beautiful harmony while upholding physical distancing.

There is, beyond the azure blue
A God, concealed from human sight
He tinted skies with heav’nly hue
And framed the worlds with His great might
Chorus:
There is a God (There is a God), He is alive (He is alive)
In Him we live (In Him we live) and we survive (and we survive)
From dust our God (From dust our God) created man (created man)
He is our God (He is our God), the great I Am (the great I Am)

There was a long, long time ago
A God whose voice the prophets heard
He is the God that we should know
Who speaks from His inspired word
Repeat Chorus

Our God, whose Son upon a tree
A life was willing there to give
That He from sin might set man free
And evermore with Him could live
Repeat Chorus

Questions to Ponder

1. What other steps are you taking to protect against the Wuhan virus and row for the shore?
2. How are you praying about the Wuhan virus situation?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the five prequels:
1. The Eden Virus
2. Why the Virus?
3. Handling Virus Fear
4. Plague, Pestilence, & Pandemic
5. Virus and the Bible

Read the sequel:
7. Virus Prayers

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 20, 2020 A.D.

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 13, 2020

Virus and the Bible

(2 Minute Read. 5/13/2020)

Read the Bible

The Wuhan virus continues to ravage the world with millions of people sick or dead, health systems overwhelmed, and economies staggering. Could any good result accompany this devastation?

As of May 12, 2020, over 290,000 have died worldwide from the Wuhan virus (also called the China virus, coronavirus, or COVID-19). In the United States, over 1.3 million have been infected with over 82,000 deaths.
(Click Wuhan Virus Stats for the latest figures on the virus from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Global Dashboard.)

My own state has over 48,000 cases and over 4,600 deaths. The county in which I live has nearly 7,800 cases and 866 deaths.

Silver Lining

But every cloud has a silver lining. This Wuhan virus has had a salutatory effect that probably very few expected. It’s related to the old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

The silver lining is a huge increase in Bible reading.

YouVersion is a very popular and easy-to-use free Bible app available on many platforms in many versions and languages. The YouVersion Bible app has been installed on over 420 million devices. YouVersion offers more than 2,000 Bible versions in more than 1,350 languages.

The YouVersion Bible app reports that March 2020 set a new record for reading the Bible.
According to YouVersion, “March 2020 was the number one month in Bible App history for the number of unique users, app shares, verse shares, Bible searches within the app, audio Bible plays, and video plays. March was also the number one month for Bible App for Kids installs and Bible App for Kids Bible story completions.”

Moreover, for Holy Week of this year (Palm Sunday to Easter), Bible reading on the YouVersion app was 54% higher than it was for Holy Week in 2019.

It is almost certain that the stresses of the Wuhan virus stimulated this tremendous increase in Bible reading in March and April.

Read the Bible and Pray for Mercy

For a variety of interesting Bible reading plans, click Bible Reading: Impulse or Plan?

Continue to implore the Great Creator to flood our nation and world with His mercy. Beg Him to heal our peoples and lands. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Reference: Bible reading 54 percent higher over Holy week, The Christian Post, 4/15/2020.

Questions to Ponder

1. What Scripture passages have you turned to in the midst of hardship and distress?
2. What phrase could you use to pleasantly nudge others to seek God’s truth in troubling times?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequels:
1. The Eden Virus
2. Why the Virus?
3. Handling Virus Fears
4. Plague, Pestilence, & Pandemic

Read the sequel:
6. Virus Defenses (with video)
7. Virus Prayers

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 13, 2020 A.D.

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 6, 2020

Answers to Bible Mothers Quiz

(4 Minute Read. 5/6/2020)

After Eden Eve, mother of all living

From Eve to Elizabeth and from Maacah to Mary, the Bible is full of mothers who greatly influenced the course of history through their sons and daughters.

Last Wednesday I posted my
Bible Mothers Quiz
to commemorate Mother’s Day (May 10, 2020) when we show special honor to mothers for their love, work, and sacrifice in bearing and raising children.

How many Bible mothers did you remember?

Below are the original quiz questions followed by answers and explanations. Links to supporting Bible verses are included with each question/answer.

In June, look for my companion quiz,
Bible Fathers Quiz,
preceding Father’s Day.

Questions & Answers for Bible Mothers Quiz

1. The very first mother in history was Eve, Adam’s wife. God fashioned Eve out of
A. Dust from the ground and breathed into her nostrils the breath of life.
B. A female chimpanzee.
C. One of Adam’s ribs.
D. An advanced hominid.

Answer: C. One of Adam’s ribs. (Genesis 2:21-22)
Click Adam’s Dream Girl for more about Eve’s creation from Adam’s rib.

2. Adam called his wife Woman because
A. She had a womb for children.
B. She would bring woe to man.
C. She was taken out of man.
D. When Adam saw her he said, “Whoa! Man!

Answer: C. She was taken out of man. (Genesis 2:23)
Click Who Was Mrs. Adam? for more on Eve.

3. Adam named his wife Eve because
A. She was created in the Evening at the end of the sixth day.
B. The name was short and sweet and easy to remember.
C. She was Even more than he had expected.
D. She was the mother of all the living.

Answer: D. She was the mother of all the living. (Genesis 3:20)

4. How old was Abraham’s wife Sarah when she bore her first child Isaac?
A. 30
B. 50
C. 70
D. 90

Answer: D. 90 (Genesis 17:17)

5. Who was the mother of these six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah?
A. Leah
B. Zillah
C. Keturah
D. Zipporah

Answer: C. Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2)
Abraham married Keturah, probably after Sarah’s death. She bore him these six sons.

6. Which Bible mother had twins who struggled and fought with each other within her womb?
A. Sarah – Ishmael & Isaac
B. Tamar – Perez & Zerah
C. Rebekah – Jacob & Esau
D. Salome – James & John

Answer: C. Rebekah – Jacob & Esau (Genesis 25:21-26)
In most English Bible versions, the Hebrew verb râtsats (רצץ) is translated “struggled together.” It literally means “to crush, get crushed, be crushed.” It conveys the idea of a violent abdominal upheaval as if the unborn Jacob and Esau were smashing against each other in the womb.

7. Who was the Egyptian mother of two tribes of Israel?
A. Asenath
B. Bilhah
C. Candace
D. Damaris

Answer: A. Asenath (Genesis 46:20)
Asenath was Joseph’s Egyptian wife and the mother of his sons Manasseh and Ephraim, the fathers of two tribes of Israel.
Click Population Growth – Israel in Egypt to read about Israel’s remarkable population expansion from the day of Asenath and Joseph to the time of Moses.

8. What woman with a scandalous past became the great-great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus the Messiah?
A. Jezebel
B. Rahab
C. Tamar
D. Vashti

Answer: B. Rahab (Ruth 4:20-22; Matthew 1:4-6; Joshua 2)
Rahab bore Boaz to Salmon (possibly one of the two unnamed spies Joshua sent into Jericho who were hidden by Rahab the harlot). Ruth bore Obed to Boaz. Obed fathered Jesse, the father of David.
Regarding the ancestral lineage of Jesus, click Genealogies of Jesus for clarification of seeming conflicts between Matthew’s genealogy through King David’s son Solomon and Luke’s genealogy through David’s son Nathan. Solomon and Nathan were both sons of Bathsheba.

9. What woman wanted to change her name to “Bitter” after the deaths of her husband and two sons?
A. Dinah
B. Orpah
C. Hannah
D. Naomi

Answer: D. Naomi (Ruth 1:3-5; 19-21)
Naomi (meaning “pleasant one“) wanted to be called Mara which means bitter.
Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
Naomi experienced multiple grievous tragedies in her life. Click Job Gets a Dose of Apologetics for a discussion of dealing with heartache, suffering, or great loss in a believer’s life.

10. Who was the mother of Joab, King David’s General of the Army?
A. Abigail, David’s sister
B. Zeruiah, David’s sister
C. Abishag the Shunammite
D. Maacah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur

Answer: B. Zeruiah, David’s sister
(2 Samuel 17:25; 1 Chronicles 2:13-16; 1 Chronicles 11:6; 1 Chronicles 18:15)
Thus Joab was King David’s nephew. Another nephew of David and cousin of Joab was Amasa, the son of David’s sister Abigail. Amasa also served for a while as commander of David’s army before Joab murdered him. Joab’s brothers Abishai and Asahel were noted warriors for David as well.

11. Who was Daniel’s mother?
A. Abigail
B. Danielle
C. Miriam
D. Elizabeth

Answer: A. Abigail (1 Chronicles 3:1)
This was a tricky question because most readers will assume the question refers to Daniel the prophet whom Nebuchadnezzar brought to Babylon from Jerusalem. However, the mother of Daniel the prophet is not named in the Bible. But there is another Daniel in the Bible. He is the son of David by his wife Abigail, the widow of Nabal. She bore Daniel, David’s second son, while they were in Hebron.
This was a hard question, but I wanted to have a few hard ones in the quiz to challenge even quite knowledgeable Bible students.

12. How many sons did Bathsheba have with King David?
A. Exactly 1
B. Only 2
C. At most 3
D. At least 4

Answer: D. At least 4 (2 Samuel 11:3; 2 Samuel 12:9-19; 1 Chronicles 3:5)
Bathsheba was the daughter of Ammiel (aka Eliam), the widow of Uriah, and a wife of King David. She bore sons Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon to David. This list probably does not include Bathsheba’s first son with David who was conceived in adultery while Bathsheba was still the wife of Uriah. That unnamed son died after seven days as punishment for David’s adultery with Bathsheba and for David’s sending Uriah to his death. Thus Bathsheba bore at least four and probably five sons to King David.

13. Who saw her son eat peculiar food, wear eccentric clothing, and be executed early in his career?
A. Mary
B. Elizabeth
C. Dorcas
D. Widow of Nain

Answer: B. Elizabeth (Luke 1:57-63; Matthew 3:4; 14:1-12)
John the Baptist, son of Zacharias and Elizabeth, wore a garment of camel’s hair with a leather belt. His food was locusts and wild honey. Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee, beheaded John.

14. What did Jesus say to his mother Mary at the wedding in Cana when she told Him the wine had run out?
A. “Woe unto them. For how shall many rejoice without strong drink?”
B. “Fear not. I will send Peter and John to procure more on our behalf.”
C. “Its lack is good indeed. For men have drunk freely enough until now.”
D. “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”

Answer: D. “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”
(John 2:1-11)
Click Who Got Married at Cana? for more on Jesus turning water to wine at Cana.

15. Whose mother-in-law did Jesus heal?
A. Mark
B. Nicodemus
C. Simon Peter
D. Zacchaeus

Answer: C. Simon Peter (Mark 1:30-31)

Permission to Use

In the past, some readers have asked permission to use my quizzes with Sunday School classes, Bible study groups, or other applications. I give permission for such use provided the source website is included. For this quiz, please credit the quiz to the Bible-Science Guy Blog at https://biblescienceguy.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/bible-mothers-quiz/.

Click Bible-Science Guy Quizzes for a complete list of links to all my quizzes.

Questions to Ponder

1. Would you like to share a sentence of tribute to your mother?
2. How can you be supportive to someone who is not a mother, when Mother’s Day may be a difficult time?
3. Which quiz question was hardest for you? Which was easiest?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequel:
Bible Mothers Quiz

Read the sequels:
Bible Fathers Quiz (coming Wed June 10)
Answers to Bible Fathers Quiz (coming Wed June 17)

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 29, 2020 A.D.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 29, 2020

Bible Mothers Quiz

(4 Minute Read. 4/29/2020)

From Eve to Elizabeth and from Maacah to Mary, the Bible is full of mothers who greatly influenced the course of history through their sons and daughters.

Mother’s Day is a day in which we show special honor to mothers for their love, work, and sacrifice in bearing and raising children. It is celebrated every year in the U.S. on the second Sunday in May. This year that is May 10, 2020.

How well do you know the Bible Moms? Do you know your Bible Mothers as well as you can whiz through literary or TV Moms?

Here is a quiz I put together on Mothers in the Bible. All the answers are in the Bible, but the answers will also appear in next Wednesday’s blog post preceding Mother’s Day (see Answers to Bible Mothers Quiz). Some of these quiz questions are easy and some are hard, but all are intriguing. And all prompt reflection on the Scriptural context of each mother. Enjoy!

15 Quiz Questions on Bible Mothers

1. The very first mother in history was Eve, Adam’s wife. God fashioned Eve out of
A. Dust from the ground and breathed into her nostrils the breath of life.
B. A female chimpanzee.
C. One of Adam’s ribs.
D. An advanced hominid.

2. Adam called his wife Woman because
A. She had a womb for children.
B. She would bring woe to man.
C. She was taken out of man.
D. When Adam saw her he said, “Whoa! Man!

3. Adam named his wife Eve because
A. She was created in the Evening at the end of the sixth day.
B. The name was short and sweet and easy to remember.
C. She was Even more than he had expected.
D. She was the mother of all the living.

4. How old was Abraham’s wife Sarah when she bore her first child Isaac?
A. 30
B. 50
C. 70
D. 90

5. Who was the mother of these six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah?
A. Leah
B. Zillah
C. Keturah
D. Zipporah

6. Which Bible mother had twins who struggled and fought with each other within her womb?
A. Sarah – Ishmael & Isaac
B. Tamar – Perez & Zerah
C. Rebekah – Jacob & Esau
D. Salome – James & John

7. Who was the Egyptian mother of two tribes of Israel?
A. Asenath
B. Bilhah
C. Candace
D. Damaris

8. What woman with a scandalous past became the great-great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus the Messiah?
A. Jezebel
B. Rahab
C. Tamar
D. Vashti

9. What woman wanted to change her name to “Bitter” after the deaths of her husband and two sons?
A. Dinah
B. Orpah
C. Hannah
D. Naomi

10. Who was the mother of Joab, King David’s General of the Army?
A. Abigail, David’s sister
B. Zeruiah, David’s sister
C. Abishag the Shunammite
D. Maacah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur

11. Who was Daniel’s mother?
A. Abigail
B. Danielle
C. Miriam
D. Elizabeth

12. How many sons did Bathsheba have with King David?
A. Exactly 1
B. Only 2
C. At most 3
D. At least 4

13. Who saw her son eat peculiar food, wear eccentric clothing, and be executed early in his career?
A. Mary
B. Elizabeth
C. Dorcas
D. Widow of Nain

14. What did Jesus say to his mother Mary at the wedding in Cana when she told Him the wine had run out?
A. “Woe unto them. For how shall many rejoice without strong drink?”
B. “Fear not. I will send Peter and John to procure more on our behalf.”
C. “Its lack is good indeed. For men have drunk freely enough until now.”
D. “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”

15. Whose mother-in-law did Jesus heal?
A. Mark
B. Nicodemus
C. Simon Peter
D. Zacchaeus

Permission to Use

In the past, some readers have asked permission to use my quizzes with Sunday School classes, Bible study groups, or other applications. I give permission for such use provided the source website is included. For this quiz, please credit the quiz to the Bible-Science Guy Blog at https://biblescienceguy.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/bible-mothers-quiz/. Answers will appear in next Wednesday’s blog post, Answers to Bible Mothers Quiz, on May 6, 2020.

Click Bible-Science Guy Quizzes for a complete list of links to all my quizzes.

Questions to Ponder

1. Would you like to share a sentence of tribute to your mother?
2. How can you be supportive to someone who is not a mother, when Mother’s Day may be a difficult time?
3. Which quiz question was hardest for you? Which was easiest?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the sequels:
Answers to Bible Mothers Quiz
Bible Fathers Quiz (coming Wed June 10)
Answers to Bible Fathers Quiz (coming Wed June 17)

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 29, 2020 A.D.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 22, 2020

Plague, Pestilence, & Pandemic

(4 Minute Read. 4/22/2020)

Did you hear about the country whose death rate from a plague was so high that 70,000 men died in only three days?

It happened around 3,000 years ago in Israel during the reign of King David.
So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.
(2 Samuel 24:15)

Whether called pestilence and plague in Bible times or pandemic in recent centuries, staggering disease and death are not new to mankind. It may feel unprecedented to us as countries all over the world are still struggling to overcome the Wuhan virus with millions of people sick or dead.

As of April 21, 2020, over 177,000 have died worldwide from the Wuhan virus (also called the China virus, coronavirus, or COVID-19) with over 2.5 million infections. In the United States, over 824,000 have been infected with over 45,000 deaths. Has the world ever seen worse? Read on to find out.
(Click Wuhan Virus Stats for the latest figures on the virus from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Global Dashboard.)

My own state has over 32,000 cases and 2,700 deaths. The county in which I live has over 6,300 cases and 510 deaths.

Countries are struggling with serious health concerns and debilitating economic issues that are without compare over the last hundred years. But they are not unprecedented in history.

Historical Perspective

Scripture asserts,
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
(Proverbs 3:13)

Knowledge of past tragedies and pandemics can give perspective on the current Chinese pestilence and offer hope for the future. Some of these catastrophes have inflicted a far greater toll on humanity than the Wuhan virus.

Here are large American-death-toll events from U.S. history for comparison with the current Wuhan virus death toll in the USA of over 45,000:
Revolutionary War (1775-83) – 23,000+ deaths
Civil War (1861-65) – 750,000 deaths
World War I (1914-18) – 116,000+ deaths
Spanish Flu (1918-19) – 675,000 deaths
World War II (1941-45) – 400,000+ deaths
Korean War (1951-53) – 36,000+ deaths
Vietnam War (1964-75) – 58,000+ deaths

Here are the most recent annual Centers for Disease Control stats on leading causes of death in the US in 2017 for comparison with the current Wuhan virus death toll in the USA of over 45,000:
Heart disease – 647,457 deaths
Cancer – 599,108 deaths
Accidents – 169,936 deaths
Chronic lower respiratory diseases – 160,201 deaths
Stroke – 146,383 deaths
Alzheimer’s disease – 121,404 deaths
Diabetes – 83,564 deaths
Influenza and Pneumonia – 55,672 deaths
Kidney disease – 50,633 deaths
Suicide – 47,173 deaths

These figures are all dwarfed by the holocaust reported by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports killing unborn babies. For the US, the Guttmacher Institute reported over 1,000,000 abortions in 2011, 926,000 abortions in 2014, and 862,000 abortions in 2017. Since abortion became legal in the U.S. almost 50 years ago in 1973, an estimated 55 million unborn babies have been killed.
(NBC News, Number of abortions in U.S. drops, Sept. 18, 2019)

Plague

The Bubonic Plague or Black Death started in 1331 in China where millions died. It spread to the Middle East and Europe via fleas in caravans and rats on ships, reaching Constantinople in 1347, Italy in 1348, and Jerusalem in 1349. The Bubonic Plague exploded throughout Europe, killing 75 million people.

In 1360-63 it devastated London — 20 percent of the population died. The death toll in Ireland and Great Britain reached nearly 3 million.

Isaac Newton in 1689

The Plague again swept across Europe and the East in the 1600s, killing millions.

When the Great Plague once more reached England in 1665, Isaac Newton (1643–1727) was studying at Cambridge University. He left Cambridge and practiced “staying home” and “physical distancing” at his mother’s rural home in Lincolnshire for two years.

Scientifically, this “sheltering in place” was the most productive time of Isaac Newton’s life. During this period of isolation, he developed calculus and formulated the laws of motion, gravity, and optics. Newton redeemed the time (Ephesians 5:16) as he laid the foundations of modern science while distancing himself from the Plague.

Flu

The Spanish Flu global pandemic of 1918-19 killed more than 50 million people worldwide including 675,000 in the USA. Today’s world population is four times what it was for the Spanish Flu, so today that would be equivalent to 200 million deaths worldwide and about 2.7 million deaths in the U.S. That is far in excess of even the worst estimates for the Wuhan virus.

During the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, doctors discovered that fresh outdoor air and sunlight helped cure flu patients. And they used face masks to prevent spread of the flu. These three factors could be important in dealing with the Wuhan virus today.
See Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic for more details on lessons learned 100 years ago on how to handle a pandemic.

Starting in 2009, during the first year of the H1N1 flu virus, the CDC estimated that the United States had 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths due to the H1N1 virus. Worldwide, the CDC estimated 151,700-575,400 people died from H1N1 in its first year of circulation.

Each year since 2010, 12,000-61,000 Americans have died from the flu. Last year (2019) 55,000 Americans died from the flu. (Click Coronavirus vs. Flu for charts comparing the Wuhan virus with the flu.)

Global Death

The worst human disaster ever was the worldwide Great Flood that God sent in the days of Noah some 4,500 years ago in which all but eight humans died. Click How Many Died in Noah’s Flood? for a Biblically-based mathematical estimate of the number of people who died in Noah’s Flood.

Noah and his family were essentially “quarantined” on the Ark for over a year. Sadly, we don’t have accounts of how they handled their isolation together on the Ark for such an extended time period. Detailed knowledge of how they managed it could potentially give their present-day descendants ideas for handling today’s “stay at home” orders.

Some of the past human tragedies have dwarfed today’s China virus. By God’s mercy I believe we will endure again through faith in the Great Creator and wise decisions.

Continue to implore the Great Creator to flood our nation and world with His mercy. Beg Him to heal our peoples and lands. The principle Yahweh told Solomon almost 3,000 years ago about humbling, praying, and repenting could help nations today:
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Questions to Ponder

1. What historical personage inspires you by their response to a time of great trial or tragedy?
2. What Scripture strengthens you to honor Christ in today’s challenging China virus crisis?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequels:
1. The Eden Virus
2. Why the Virus?
3. Handling Virus Fears

Read the sequels:
5. Virus and the Bible
6. Virus Defenses
(with video)
7. Virus Prayers

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 22, 2020 A.D.

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 15, 2020

Handling Virus Fears

(4 Minute Read. 4/15/2020)

The Wuhan virus has had a devastating impact on the world with hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe sick or dead. People in over 180 countries have been hit by the Wuhan virus (also called the China virus, coronavirus, and COVID-19).

As of April 14, 2020, more than 1,900,000 have tested positive for the Wuhan virus worldwide and over 126,000 have died. In the United States, over 600,000 have been infected with over 26,000 deaths so far from the China virus. Each of the fifty states has a presidential disaster declaration.
(Click Wuhan Virus Stats for the latest figures on the virus from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Global Dashboard.)

My own state has more than 27,000 cases and over 1,700 deaths. The county in which I live has over 5,300 cases and 361 deaths.

Economic repercussions have been severe with thousands of businesses closing, millions of people losing their jobs, and billions of dollars drained via government aid. The disruption to daily life has practically paralyzed large segments of planet Earth.

Worried, Anxious, Panicked, Fearful? — NOT!

The Wuhan virus situation is extremely serious in the USA and throughout the world. It’s an unprecedented crisis for everyone alive today. Nobody has experienced anything like it.

How will the economy recover? What about supply lines for food and other needs? Will the health system withstand the Wuhan virus onslaught? Will law enforcement be able to control rioting, looting, and violence if the situation further deteriorates? Will civil liberties be restored?

These and many other heavy questions about consequences of the Wuhan virus hang in the air.

But I am not worried about the Wuhan virus!

While concerned, why am I not fearful? Why am I not even anxious?

Faith in a Sovereign God

The fundamental answer is that I have a rock-solid faith in the sovereign Almighty Creator God of the Bible. He created the world and all it contains. He is in charge of every detail of life on earth. Since as Jesus said, a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, certainly He oversees the Wuhan pestilence that is currently plaguing the earth.
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

God uses, even sends, plagues and catastrophes for His own purposes as He did in the days of Moses and Amos.
“I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt;
I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses,
And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord.
(Amos 4:10)

The God who sends pestilence to drive men to repentance is the same God who sent Jesus of Nazareth to the cross to atone for man’s sin. God the Father inflicted the worst “pestilence” ever on God the Son for the benefit of mankind as the Apostle Peter said:
Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know — this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. (Acts 2:22-24)

Instead of fearing the virus that can take my physical life, I fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Read What I Fear.)
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. (Psalm 18: 32)

The Great Creator is on the throne. He rules the universe in infinite wisdom and love. Nothing happens by chance or luck. (Read No Luck At All.) There are no accidents. Yahweh has a sovereign plan in which He is working all things together for good. He may protect me from the Wuhan virus or He may not. I do not know how this China virus fits in His plan, but I trust Him anyway. Just because we don’t understand God’s purpose for the virus does not mean that a good purpose does not exist. Jesus’ disciples did not understand how the horrible crucifixion of Jesus fit into God’s plan until after the Resurrection.
My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

TV host Dr. Phil McGraw says,
“Pray to God, but row for the shore.”
Certainly I am following the President’s Guidelines to slow the spread, wearing face masks, choosing food to boost my immune system, and taking sensible precautions.

But ultimately faith in the sovereign Great Creator is the baseline for dealing with the Wuhan virus. Yahweh is the one who has numbered my days. There will not be one more day or one less day than He has planned for me.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
(Psalm 139:16)

Prayer Is Essential

The church of Jesus Christ needs to petition the Great Creator about the Wuhan virus. I urge those of us who know Yahweh to pray like never before for the health of our nation and our world. We need to repent of our own sin and plead for Yahweh’s mercy.

Pray for those suffering with the Wuhan virus that God would heal them. Pray for comfort for those grieving the loss of loved ones.

Pray for strength and wisdom for doctors and nurses. Pray for medical researchers. Pray for the companies switching over to manufacture needed medical and protective supplies. Pray for first-responders. Pray for those risking their lives to help those ill with the Wuhan virus.

Pray for President Trump and Vice President Pence as they lead the country’s effort to combat the Wuhan virus. Pray for their teams.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Questions to Ponder

1. Which concept above will you focus on today to address anxiety and concern?
2. What specific prayer would you add to those suggested above?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequels:
1. The Eden Virus
2. Why the Virus?

Read the sequels:
4. Plague, Pestilence, & Pandemic
5. Virus and the Bible
6. Virus Defenses
(with video)
7. Virus Prayers

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 15, 2020 A.D.

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 8, 2020

When Is Easter?

(5 Minute Read plus video)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

Easter celebrates Christ’s Resurrection, and this year Easter is Sunday, April 12. Last year we celebrated Easter on April 21 — a fairly late date.

Unlike Christmas, which is always celebrated on December 25, Easter varies from year to year. In the Western church, Easter ranges from March 22 through April 25 — never earlier, never later.

Why do the dates for Easter change every year? How is the date determined?

Easter Birthdays

I have occasionally enjoyed celebrating my birthday on Easter Sunday. It’s happened 3 times so far in my lifetime, but it won’t happen again until I’m 98. But then I won’t have to wait long for it to happen again — when I’m 104, and then 109. I may not last till the next few times when I’m 155 and 166 and 177.

If I were to live for hundreds of years as the Genesis patriarchs did, I would celebrate my birthday again on Easter Sunday when I’m 318, 324, and 329 years old.

Noah’s grandfather Methuselah enjoyed 969 birthdays (Genesis 5:27). But despite having so many birthdays, he never celebrated his birthday on Easter. Neither did any of the other Genesis patriarchs. Can you figure out why?

One of our children was born on Easter. Our children have had Easter birthdays at ages 3, 8, 8, 11, 22. They’ll have future Easter birthdays at ages 33, 44, 55, 70, 73, 81, 84, 87, 92, 92, 95, 98, 103, 106.

If your birthday is March 23, then 2008 is likely the only year you would ever celebrate your birthday on Easter. The last time Easter was on March 23 was 107 years ago in 1913. And the next time is 140 years from now in 2160 AD.

But it’s even worse if your birthday is March 22 — you will never see your birthday fall on Easter. The last Easter on March 22 was 202 years ago in 1818, and the next time will be 265 years from now in 2285.

This year’s April 12 date for Easter is fairly common. It last occurred in 1998 and 2009. The most frequent date for Easter is April 19.

Jesus was resurrected during Passover Week.
So why don’t Easter and Passover coincide?
Why do the dates change every year?

Passover and Easter

This year Passover begins on Wednesday, April 8, prior to Easter on Sunday, April 12. This is similar to the original Easter when Passover began the week before the Sunday Jesus rose from the dead.

But Passover and Easter are not always scheduled this way relative to each other. For example, in 2008 Easter was on March 23, well before Passover began on Saturday, April 19.

Why are Easter and Passover sometimes so different? Wasn’t Jesus crucified and raised during Passover Week? Shouldn’t Easter and Passover coincide? Why do the dates for Easter and Passover change every year? Why isn’t Easter always the Sunday following the beginning of Passover?

To add to the confusion, Easter is usually celebrated on different dates in the Eastern Orthodox and Western churches. In 2017 both East and West celebrated Easter the same day on April 16. But this happens only occasionally. The next time East and West celebrate Easter the same day will be April 20, 2025.

This year (2020) the East celebrates Easter on April 19 and the West celebrates on April 12. But next year (2021) the East celebrates on May 2 and the West celebrates on April 4. In 2024 they will be separated by more than a month with the West celebrating on March 31 and the East on May 5.

What is the reason for the differences between Passover and the eastern and western Easter dates?

The reason is that different calendars and different rules are used to determine the dates. The Passover celebration begins the 15th of Nissan in the Hebrew calendar and lasts for eight days.

The confusion over Easter goes all the way back to the early centuries of the Christian church. In 325 AD the Council of Nicea (present-day Iznik in northwestern Turkey) tried to resolve the issue. The Eastern bishops from eastern Europe and western Asia supported scheduling Easter at Passover. Their primary reason was that this agreed with the Gospels. Moreover, most Eastern Christians had Jewish roots, so this fit well with their established tradition.

But Western bishops, with few Jews in their areas, preferred a date connected with the beginning of spring to coincide with pagan celebrations.

The Council of Nicea could not agree on a dating schedule for Easter except that Easter would be celebrated on Sunday. Previously it had been celebrated on any day of the week.

Emperor Constantine, who had convened the Council, distributed a post-council letter. He urged a uniform observance of Easter that did not use the Jewish calendar because he reasoned that Jews had crucified Jesus.

Empty Tomb

Easter Rules

No standard formula for determining the date for Easter was used throughout the west till about 600-700 AD. Then Easter was scheduled as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, thereby tying Easter to the start of spring. Some technical adjustments involve definitions of “full moon” and “vernal equinox,” but this is approximately correct.

The “Paschal full moon” used for determining Easter is an ecclesiastical date read from tables, not an astronomical full moon date. These tables were constructed in 325 AD so that the date for Easter could be calculated in advance rather than basing it on astronomical observations which were less predictable back then.

The Paschal full moon is the first ecclesiastical full moon after March 20 which was the vernal equinox in 325 AD. Easter is the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon.

In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar (instituted by Julius Caesar) and published new dates for Easter. By the 1700’s most of the West used the Gregorian calendar.

The Eastern church, however, still used the Julian calendar with different Easter dates. In 1923 the Eastern Orthodox church shifted to a modified Gregorian calendar and set the date by the astronomical full moon at Jerusalem and the true vernal equinox at Jerusalem.

The Eastern church also requires Easter to occur after the Jewish Passover, since it originally occurred this way. In the Eastern Orthodox church, Easter always falls between April 4 and May 8.

Over the years some have proposed standardizing Easter. Early in the 1900’s a fixed date was proposed. This was approved by the Second Vatican Council in 1963, provided Christian churches reached consensus. The second Sunday in April is the usual suggestion, but no agreement has been reached.

In 1997 the World Council of Churches proposed a method for both East and West to use. The Gregorian calendar would be used and both vernal equinox and the Paschal full moon would be determined through astronomical calculations based at Jerusalem’s meridian. No action has been taken.

Easter remains variable and there is no consistency among Passover, Western Easter, and Eastern Easter.

Resurrection

Dates may vary, but the essential unifying factor is that Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Two thousand years ago Jesus of Nazareth was savagely beaten, tortured, nailed to a cross, killed, and buried. After three days and three nights He rose from the dead. His tomb is empty!
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
(Ephesians 1:18-21)

Death is humanity’s common fate. Everyone eventually faces death. To live at peace in life, one needs to be prepared for death. Since Christ has been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20), we know death has been conquered. Faith in Christ and His resurrection is the only sufficient preparation for death.

Here is a 4-minute YouTube video of a new Easter hymn Christ Our Hope in Life and Death that was just released in March. The song provides the answer to the 1563 Heidelberg Catechism’s question, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?”


 

Questions to Ponder

1. What ray of hope can shine into your heart today because of Christ’s resurrection?
2. How can you prepare your mind and heart today to make celebrating Easter more meaningful?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 8, 2020 A.D.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 1, 2020

Why the Virus?

(5 Minute Read. 4/1/2020)

The Wuhan virus is currently ravaging the world with thousands of people all over the world sick and dying. Presently there is no known cure for the Wuhan virus (also called the China virus, corona virus, and COVID-19).

Economic repercussions are severe. The disruption to daily life is severe, practically paralyzing large segments of planet Earth.

As of March 31, 20020, over 189,000 have been diagnosed with the Wuhan virus in the United States, and more than 4,000 have died. My own state has over 7,600 cases and 259 deaths.

Worldwide, cases number over 858,000 with more than 42,000 deaths. The hardest hit country is Italy with over 105,000 cases and over 12,000 deaths.
(Click Wuhan Virus Stats for the latest figures on the virus from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Global Dashboard.)

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and he is a lead White House advisor on the Wuhan virus epidemic. On Sunday, March 29, he predicted on CNN that the U.S. will develop millions of cases of the Wuhan virus and that 100,000-200,00 deaths will result.
(See Dr. Fauci Predicts Up To 200,000 Deaths From Coronavirus.)

Fauci thinks the U.S. fatality rate for those infected will be around 1%; this is ten times the 0.1% fatality rate for seasonal flu. Currently Italy’s fatality rate for the Wuhan virus is over 10%.

To put Fauci’s predictions in perspective, 12,000-61,000 Americans have died each year from the flu since 2010. In the 1918-19 flu pandemic, 675,000 died in the U.S.
(Click Coronavirus vs. Flu for charts comparing the Wuhan virus with the flu.)

The Wuhan virus situation in the U.S. and worldwide is extremely serious. It’s an unprecedented crisis for everyone.

Dr. Ben Carson, President Donald Trump, and Dr. Anthony Fauci
report to the nation on the Wuhan virus on March 21, 2020.

Is There a God?

Some people cite such horrible situations as proof that God does not exist. How could a good God permit so much death and suffering? They claim that the existence of evil is proof that no God exists. Is such reasoning logically valid?

No, it is not valid. The existence of evil in the world is NOT proof that God does not exist.

Evil is actually proof that God does exist!

There can only be evil if there is a moral standard identifying good and evil. And the existence of a moral standard requires a standard giver, namely God.

Without God there can be no evil – only social opinion.

The reason man can identify evil is that the Great Creator has written His moral law on men’s hearts.
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness. (Romans 2:14-15)

If evil exists, then there must be a moral standard. If there is a moral standard, there must be a standard giver.

Why the Virus?

Why did God let the Wuhan virus happen? As the Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of the universe, He could have prevented it.

How could a loving God permit such a plague and pestilence? How could He allow so much suffering and death?

To answer these questions, I will discuss three topics:
1. Purpose of Evil
2. Cause of Evil
3. Fix for Evil

Purpose of Evil

First, it’s important to remember that Yahweh Himself has suffered the worst evil ever. Jesus of Nazareth, the sinless and completely innocent Son of God, was cruelly beaten, tortured, nailed to a cross, and killed. The Apostle Peter said,
Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know — this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. (Acts 2:22-24)

This horrible evil of the Crucifixion had a purpose — the salvation of mankind.

Is it conceivable that other lesser evils that Yahweh permits also have a purpose in His sovereign plan?
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:11-12)

A good example of a purpose behind affliction is the life of Joseph son of Jacob in Genesis. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and lived for years in an Egyptian prison. Later his brothers said to each other,
We saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen. (Genesis 42:21)

While suffering evil as a slave, Joseph did not know God’s purpose behind his travails. Only later did he understand God’s good purpose and supportive presence. Joseph told his brothers,
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. (Genesis 50:20)

Is it possible that likewise there is a beneficial purpose to evil and human suffering? Could inconvenience, sorrow, suffering, and even loss give rise to a much greater good as illustrated by Joseph’s case? His suffering resulted in the rescue of the entire clan of Israel and its growth into a nation in Egypt. Joseph’s life instructs us that God is always at work for our good, no matter how desperate the situation. (Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:12,19)

Just because we don’t understand God’s purpose for suffering does not mean that a good purpose does not exist. My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Possible reasons behind tragedy, catastrophe, and evil include these:

  • Tragedy may be a consequence of individual sin.
    King David’s first son by Bathsheba died as a punishment for David’s adultery with Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 11:1 – 12:23)
  • Tragedy may be designed to teach a lesson.
    King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was plagued with insanity to teach him to give glory to God (Daniel 4).
  • Tragedy may be designed to glorify God.
    Jesus said a man was born blind in order to showcase the work of God in him (John 9:1-11).
    Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
    Jesus said that His good friend Lazarus got sick and died “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (John 11:1-45)
  • Tragedy may be designed to prompt repentance.
    Jesus said this about the fall of the Tower of Siloam that killed 18 people (Luke 13:1-5).
    Do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
  • Accidents may be natural consequences of human choices.
    Here is an example of a park ranger who ignored safety policies, took shortcuts, and misfelled a tree onto an outhouse. (See Tree Accident.)

Cause of Evil

Second, the fundamental reason behind why anything goes wrong in the world is Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). All the trouble in the world flows from that one act of rebellion against Yahweh. As a result we live in a broken, cursed world where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.

The cause of all the evil in the world is the Eden Virus started by Adam. The universe is broken and cursed due to Adam’s sin. Man’s rebellion against Yahweh has resulted in a broken world full of suffering and evil.

Fix for Evil

Third, the Great Creator has an ongoing plan to fix evil and restore His original perfect creation.

We live in the midst of Yahweh’s work to redeem our broken world. Evil, pain, and suffering is part of this process, including Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross and our suffering. Yahweh is preparing “the glory that is to be revealed to us” in His future grand redemption of all things.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:18-23)

God is wiser than man and uses suffering and evil for His good purpose (John 9:3; Romans 8:28). In the face of evil and suffering, our responsibility is to trust in the love and wisdom of God as He uses our afflictions to produce for us an eternal weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Easter is all about the victory over evil and death. It’s a celebration of a key part of Yahweh’s redemptive plan — the Resurrection of Jesus.

These perspectives clarify why Jesus said,
In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33)

The Cross (Crucifixion) and the Empty Tomb (Resurrection) guarantee salvation and the eventual restoration of all things.

Jesus of Nazareth died for people’s sin with the result that anyone who places their trust in Him as Lord and Savior will be reborn to eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Let us focus our minds and hearts on the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and rejoice!

Questions to Ponder
  1. How do you respond to tragedy? Do you blame yourself, others, or God? Or do you seek God and His lesson for you?
  2. Think of a recent accident, catastrophe, or tragedy in which you were involved. Can you see how God is using it in your life? Can you trust Him?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequel:
1. The Eden Virus

Read the sequels:
3. Handling Virus Fears
4. Plague, Pestilence, & Pandemic
5. Virus and the Bible
6. Virus Defenses
(with video)
7. Virus Prayers

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 1, 2020 A.D.

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 25, 2020

The Eden Virus

(2 Minute Read. 3/25/2020)


The Wuhan virus has slammed the world. People all over the world are sick and dying. Jobs are being lost, financial repercussions are severe, and there is no known cure for the Wuhan virus (also called the China virus, corona virus, and COVID-19).

News reports are stuffed with Wuhan virus news. People are focused on avoiding infection as best they can. Social, business, recreational, and educational relationships have been severely impacted and even broken.

The best approach to limiting the spread of the Wuhan virus is a Biblical solution from 3500 years ago — quarantines. See Science in the Bible – Quarantine.

A Much Worse Virus

But there is a much more serious virus infecting people all over the world that has received far less attention than the Wuhan virus. Quarantines have no effect because this other virus is so widespread.

Some cities and counties in the US have a 100% infection rate from this other virus!

Some of the world’s countries have a 100% infection rate!

One of the worst viruses known is rabies. But this other virus is worse than rabies.

This other virus is deadly, resulting in death for everyone that has it. It has severely impacted all aspects of everyone’s life.

But contrary to the Wuhan virus, there is a cure for this other virus.

I call this other virus the Eden virus since it started in the Garden of Eden some 6,000 years ago. Other names for it are the Adam virus and the Sin virus.

Everyone in the world is a sinner and has the sin virus. Everyone is under the sentence of death for this virus from the Almighty Judge of the universe.

While the Wuhan virus can cause physical suffering and death, the Eden virus always causes physical death and without the cure results in eternal spiritual death.

While a cure for the China virus has not yet been found, the essential good news message of the Bible is about the cure for the far more serious Eden virus.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Two thousand years ago Someone conquered the Eden virus.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:4-5)

Jesus of Nazareth died for people’s sin with the result that anyone who places their trust in Him as Lord and Savior will be reborn to eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Questions to Ponder

1. What effects has the Eden virus (sin virus) had in your life?
2. How is the China virus connected to the Eden virus?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the sequels:
2. Why the Virus?
3. Handling Virus Fears
4. Plague, Pestilence, & Pandemic
5. Virus and the Bible
6. Virus Defenses
(with video)
7. Virus Prayers

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday March 25, 2020 A.D.

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

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