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Sunday, 15 September 2013

September 2013

Welcome to Understanding the World

In this issue we include a short overview and discussion of Prof Kevin Nelson's book The God Impulse. The focus is on life after death. We also include some interesting recent news articles. 

The God Impulse - Willie Mc Loud

In his book The God Impulse neurologist Prof Kevin Nelson argues that spiritual experiences – especially of the near-death type – could be ascribed to a particular type of consciousness, namely being awake while in the REM-state. He also discusses the areas of the brain which produce such experiences. What does this say about life after death? To read: The God Impulse.

In the news
(The opinions expressed in these articles are not our own but those of the different authors. We include these articles because the topics are relevant to issues under discussion in our e-letters and may be of interest to some readers).
- A US-Russia deal on Syrian chemical weapons take the military option of the table - for now. Assad government hails 'victory' in arms deal, troops attack.
- New evidence suggest that copper mining in southern Israel reached its peak during the period associated with kings David and Solomon. This supports the Biblical narrative regarding the powerful reigns of these rulers. Timna Park rediscovered by Tel Aviv archaeologists
- The first dynasty in Egypt - when dynastic Egypt began - is confirmed to have started about 3100 BC. New timeline for origin of ancient Egypt.


Readers are welcome to bring interesting articles to our attention for possible placement in Understanding the World.

Previous issues of Understanding the World
If you find Understanding the World interesting, forward it to a friend.

Understanding the world is a monthly e-letter with abstracts of, and links to, informative articles on a variety of interrelated issues including origins, science, philosophy, faith, archaeology, international affairs (especially the Middle East and the European Union) and eschatology (study of the last events).

Contact us: wmcloud@yahoo.com




Sunday, 18 August 2013

August 2013

Welcome to Understanding the World

In this issue we focus on prayer (in Afrikaans). We also include some recent news articles.

God hoor - Willie Mc Loud
In hierdie geestelike essay fokus ek op gebed. Die gebed wat werk.

Alle Christene bid. Gebed is deel van die praktiese uitlewing van geloof. Gebed bring ons in die geestelike stemming waarin ons God kan beleef. Deur gebed tree ons met God in gesprek. Persone wat hul geestelike lewe ernstig opneem, is oor die algemeen ook mense wat meer tyd in gebed spandeer. Maar soms lyk dit of gebed nie werk nie. Soms voel dit of ons te vergeefs bid. Soms wil ons ophou bid. Om die essay te lees klik op God hoor.

In the news
(The opinions expressed in these articles are not our own but those of the different authors. We include these articles because the topics are relevant to issues under discussion in our e-letters and may be of interest to some readers).

Recent events in Egypt could have serious consequences for Turkey's political leadership in the Middle East: Turkey losing regional clout as Egypt conflict flares
There are growing support for the historicity of the Biblical narratives about David and Solomon:
3100 year old city could date back to David and Solomon
Archaeologists uncover palace from kingdom of David
Readers are welcome to bring interesting articles to our attention for possible placement in Understanding the World.

Previous issues of Understanding the World

If you find Understanding the World interesting, forward it to a friend.

Understanding the world is a monthly e-letter with abstracts of, and links to, informative articles on a variety of interrelated issues including origins, science, philosophy, faith, archaeology, international affairs (especially the Middle East and the European Union) and eschatology (study of the last events).

To subscribe to Understanding the World use Subscribe
or send your email address to the contact address given below
To unsubscribe just return the e-letter when mailed to you

Contact us: wmcloud@yahoo.com




Tuesday, 16 July 2013

July 2013

Welcome to Understanding the World

In this issue we include two abstracts, one on the historicity of Adam an Eve and one on the escalating conflict in Syria. Both were recently posted on the blog Life in the Universe. We also include some recent news articles.

Adam and Eve: were they the first humans? - Willie Mc Loud
In this essay I discuss various views about Adam and Eve. I also present my own view which explore the wider ancient context in which the story originated. Questions asked are: Does the Biblical narrative say that Adam and Eve were the very first humans on earth or is there reason to believe otherwise? Can we view the story as historical? How should we understand the creation of Adam and Eve? Did God really created Adam out of dust and Eve out of one of his ribs? And how does the story relate to the ancient Sumerian story of Adapa which corresponds with it? This essay is the second in the series on the Book of Genesis. (Key words: adam (mankind), Adam and Eve, Adapa, Genesis 2, Genesis series: part 2, mitochondrial Eve and Y chromosomal Adam, Ninti, origins). To read the article: Adam and Eve: were they the first humans?

War-clouds darken over the Middle East - Willie Mc Loud
The Syrian conflict has escalated over the last month. Everything seems to suggest that it will escalate even further when the West starts providing the rebels with more advanced weapons. But will it evolve further into a regional war? To answer this question I discuss the strategic interests of the major players, including the US, Israel, France, Iran and Russia. (Key words: Al-Nusra Front, Free Syrian Army, Hezbollah, Iran, Iranian War, Israel, Middle Eastern War, news desk, Syrian conflict). To read the article: War-clouds darken over the Middle East


In the news
(The opinions expressed in these articles are not our own but those of the different authors. We include these articles because the topics are relevant to issues under discussion in our e-letters and may be of interest to some readers).
- The fall from power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt reflects their loss of support. Does it mean that Islamism is incompatible with democracy?  The future of Islamism: Where does Islamism go from here?
- A well-preserved section of the Roman road from Jaffa to Jerusalem discovered. Section of 1800-year-old road discovered in Jerusalem.
- Discovering the tunnels and caves under Jerusalem in which the Jews hid during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70AD. Archaeologists excavate Jerusalem cave and tunnel network
"Our findings provide a window into what Native American societies were like beginning more than 6,000 years ago,"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-professor-prehistoric-art-cosmological-belief.html#jCp
"Our findings provide a window into what Native American societies were like beginning more than 6,000 years ago,"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-professor-prehistoric-art-cosmological-belief.html#jCp
"Our findings provide a window into what Native American societies were like beginning more than 6,000 years ago,"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-professor-prehistoric-art-cosmological-belief.html#jCp
"Our findings provide a window into what Native American societies were like beginning more than 6,000 years ago,"

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-professor-prehistoric-art-cosmological-belief.html#jCp

- Native Americans living 6000 years ago believed that the cosmos includes an upper (heavens), middle (natural world) and lower (underworld) division. Prehistoric rock art maps cosmological belief.

Readers are welcome to bring interesting articles to our attention for possible placement in Understanding the World.

Previous issues of Understanding the World

Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!! 
Willie Mc Loud se nuwe boek getiteld Op soek na Abraham en sy God - 'n studie oor die historisiteit van die Genesis-verhale (Griffel, 2012) het onlangs verskyn. Die volledige inhoudsopgawe word vir die eerste maal hier gepos asook 'n uittreksel van 'n resensie wat in TEO verskyn het.  Die stimulerende lekkerlees trant van die boek maak dit ideale leesstof vir 'n vakansie. Dit is 'n goeie geskenk vir familie en vriende wat in die betroubaarheid van die Bybel belangstel.(Sleutelwoorde: Abraham, Adam, antieke wêreldbeskouing, argeologie, Bybelse inspirasie, El-Elyon, El-Sjaddai, Enmerkar, Etana, Genesis, goderaad, Henog, Nimrod, Satan, Sumerië, taleverwarring, toring van Babel).
Om meer te lees klik op Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!!

If you find Understanding the World interesting, forward it to a friend.

Understanding the world is a monthly e-letter with abstracts of, and links to, informative articles on a variety of interrelated issues including origins, science, philosophy, faith, archaeology, international affairs (especially the Middle East and the European Union) and eschatology (study of the last events).

To subscribe to Understanding the World use Subscribe
or send your email address to the contact address given below
To unsubscribe just return the e-letter when mailed to you

Contact us: wmcloud@yahoo.com




Monday, 17 June 2013

June 2013

Welcome to Understanding the World

In this issue we include the abstract of an article on Biblical Criticism that was recently posted on the blog Life in the Universe. We also include some recent news articles.

A critique of Biblical Criticism as a scholarly discipline - Willie Mc Loud
In this critique I look into the scientific nature of Biblical Criticism - to what extent can it be viewed as a scientific discipline and how valid are the claims made by it? I am especially interested in the roots of the discipline in modernist times and the impact that these roots have on the discipline. I look at its presuppositions regarding the nature of reality, the credibility of the literary tradition and the possibility of obtaining an objective perspective on history. How does these impact on the paradigmatic parameters of the discipline? And what is the implications of contemporary developments in hermeneutics for the discipline? (Key words: Biblical Criticism, form criticism, Gadamer, Graf-Wellhausen theory, Gunkel, origins, Sitz im Leben (setting in life), source criticism). To read the article: A critique of Biblical Criticism as a scholarly discipline

In the news
Major changes in Syrian conflict: U.S. puts jets in Jordan, fuels Russian fears of Syria no-fly zone 
Russia and the conflict in Syria: Insight - Russia's Syria diplomacy, a game of smoke and mirrors  
Major catastrophic event after the last ice age: Comprehensive analysis of impact spherules supports theory of cosmic impact 12,800 years ago
Neanderthals and Humans: Neanderthal culture: Old Masters

Previous issues of Understanding the World

Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!! 
Willie Mc Loud se nuwe boek getiteld Op soek na Abraham en sy God - 'n studie oor die historisiteit van die Genesis-verhale (Griffel, 2012) het onlangs verskyn. Die volledige inhoudsopgawe word vir die eerste maal hier gepos asook 'n uittreksel van 'n resensie wat in TEO verskyn het.  Die stimulerende lekkerlees trant van die boek maak dit ideale leesstof vir 'n vakansie. Dit is 'n goeie geskenk vir familie en vriende wat in die betroubaarheid van die Bybel belangstel.(Sleutelwoorde: Abraham, Adam, antieke wêreldbeskouing, argeologie, Bybelse inspirasie, El-Elyon, El-Sjaddai, Enmerkar, Etana, Genesis, goderaad, Henog, Nimrod, Satan, Sumerië, taleverwarring, toring van Babel).
Om meer te lees klik op Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!!

If you find Understanding the World interesting, forward it to a friend.

Understanding the world is a monthly e-letter with abstracts of, and links to, informative articles on a variety of interrelated issues including origins, science, philosophy, faith, archaeology, international affairs (especially the Middle East and the European Union) and eschatology (study of the last events).

To subscribe to Understanding the World use Subscribe
or send your email address to the contact address given below
To unsubscribe just return the e-letter when mailed to you

Contact us: wmcloud@yahoo.com




Tuesday, 14 May 2013

May 2013

Welcome to Understanding the World

In this issue we include the abstract of an article on the various views about the final world empire that was recently posted on the blog Life in the Universe. We also include various news articles.
 
The rise of the final world empire: the different views - Willie Mc Loud
Most Christians believe that God inspired the Biblical prophets to speak about future events, some of which will only happen during the "end times" shortly before the second coming of Jesus Christ. If this is correct [1], some of the paradigmatic events mentioned in these prophecies could signal the onset of that period to those living at that time. In this article I focus on one such event which many Christians consider to be of utmost importance, namely the rise of the final world empire. Although Bible prophecies provide many details about this empire, there are various interpretations possible. Some place the relevant events in the past, others in the future: seeing the rise of various regional economic blocks around the world, the rise of militant Islam (following the Arab Spring) or the rise of the European Union as the precursor to this empire. But who is correct? (Key words: Daniel 7, Daniel: the ten horns, eschatology, final world empire: three views, ten horns, ten toes.) To read the article: The rise of the final world empire

In the news
Ancient quarries and the building of the temple: Jerusalem: ancient city quarries reveals city building rocks
For those interested in busmen-like paintings: Cave paintings in Argentina
Sudden genetic change in Europe in 4500 BC: the result of the Flood? Modern Europe's Genetic History Starts in Stone Age
The Syrian conflict: "The West can no longer wait reacting"

Previous issues of Understanding the World

Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!! 
Willie Mc Loud se nuwe boek getiteld Op soek na Abraham en sy God - 'n studie oor die historisiteit van die Genesis-verhale (Griffel, 2012) het onlangs verskyn. Die volledige inhoudsopgawe word vir die eerste maal hier gepos asook 'n uittreksel van 'n resensie wat in TEO verskyn het.  Die stimulerende lekkerlees trant van die boek maak dit ideale leesstof vir 'n vakansie. Dit is 'n goeie geskenk vir familie en vriende wat in die betroubaarheid van die Bybel belangstel.(Sleutelwoorde: Abraham, Adam, antieke wêreldbeskouing, argeologie, Bybelse inspirasie, El-Elyon, El-Sjaddai, Enmerkar, Etana, Genesis, goderaad, Henog, Nimrod, Satan, Sumerië, taleverwarring, toring van Babel).
Om meer te lees klik op Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!!

If you find Understanding the World interesting, forward it to a friend.

Understanding the world is a monthly e-letter with abstracts of, and links to, informative articles on a variety of interrelated issues including origins, science, philosophy, faith, archaeology, international affairs (especially the Middle East and the European Union) and eschatology (study of the last events).

To subscribe to Understanding the World use Subscribe
or send your email address to the contact address given below
To unsubscribe just return the e-letter when mailed to you

Contact us: wmcloud@yahoo.com




Tuesday, 16 April 2013

April 2013

Welcome to Understanding the World

In this issue we include abstracts of two articles, one devotional ("Die profeet") and one on the futuristic aspect of prophecy. The last is a reaction on the Biblical Criticism view that prophecy in the Bible does not in any real sense foresee the future. It also reflects on the credibility of the literary tradition in the Bible. Both was recently posted on the blog Life in the Universe. We also include various news articles.

Die profeet - Dr Willie Mc Loud

"En die profete-seuns wat in Jerigo was, het dit op 'n afstand gesien en gesê: Die Gees van Elia rus op Elisa!" (11 Kon. 2:15)
Daar is al verskeie artikels oor die Israelitiese profetiese tradisie en sekere spesifieke profesieë op hierdie blog gepos. Al hierdie artikels het 'n intellektuele inslag. Alhoewel hierdie artikel oor die profeet dus op die vorige artikels volg, verskil dit tog in die sin dat dit 'n geestelike artikel is. Dit is dan ook die eerste geestelike artikel wat op hierdie blog verskyn. Ek vertrou dat lesers dit van waarde sal vind. Klik hier om die artikel te lees: Die profeet.

Bible prophecy: predicting the distant future? - Dr Willie Mc Loud

In this essay the focus is on Biblical prophecy, even though I also discuss prophecy in the wider Middle Eastern context. Three important characteristics of the prophet are discussed, namely that he/she was an oracle of God, a preacher of ethics and a preserver of tradition. A close connection, going back millennia, existed between prophets (or court diviners) and the written tradition. But what does “prophet” mean (or meant)? This calls for an hermeneutic (interpretative) approach. Scholars should not force their own paradigmatic perspectives onto the text, but listen to the voices in the text. Both the voices of the individual prophets as well as that of the age-old prophetic tradition are of importance. Certain prophetic themes, like that about the messiah, can only be appreciated once the ancient Israelite manner of understanding their own prophecies is considered. This also throws light on the possibility of future fulfillment of prophecy. (Keywords: Biblical prophecy, eschatology, interpreting prophecy, messianic prophecies, OT prophecy fulfilled in Jesus, prophecy in ancient Mari, prophets and the literary tradition, the Hebrew prophet.)   To read the article click on: Bible prophecy: predicting the distant future?

In the news
Ancient Babylon today: Bringing Babylon back from the dead
On the age-old financial heart of London: City of London corporate elections 
The internet - a dangerous place: The dangerous new rules of cyber warfare

Previous issues of Understanding the World

Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!! 
Willie Mc Loud se nuwe boek getiteld Op soek na Abraham en sy God - 'n studie oor die historisiteit van die Genesis-verhale (Griffel, 2012) het onlangs verskyn. Die volledige inhoudsopgawe word vir die eerste maal hier gepos asook 'n uittreksel van 'n resensie wat in TEO verskyn het.  Die stimulerende lekkerlees trant van die boek maak dit ideale leesstof vir 'n vakansie. Dit is 'n goeie geskenk vir familie en vriende wat in die betroubaarheid van die Bybel belangstel.(Sleutelwoorde: Abraham, Adam, antieke wêreldbeskouing, argeologie, Bybelse inspirasie, El-Elyon, El-Sjaddai, Enmerkar, Etana, Genesis, goderaad, Henog, Nimrod, Satan, Sumerië, taleverwarring, toring van Babel).
Om meer te lees klik op Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!!

If you find Understanding the World interesting, forward it to a friend.

Understanding the world is a monthly e-letter with abstracts of, and links to, informative articles on a variety of interrelated issues including origins, science, philosophy, faith, archaeology, international affairs (especially the Middle East and the European Union) and eschatology (study of the last events).

To subscribe to Understanding the World use Subscribe
or send your email address to the contact address given below
To unsubscribe just return the e-letter when mailed to you

Contact us: wmcloud@yahoo.com

Saturday, 16 March 2013

March 2013


Welcome to Understanding the World

In this issue we include the abstract of an article on the seven days of creation that was recently posted on the blog Life in the Universe. We also include news articles on ancient settlements found in Israel, on the authorship of the Letter to the Hebrews, on the new pope and on scientific evidence for the origin of the universe.


Does the creation narrative of Genesis 1 support the idea of a young earth? - Dr Willie Mc Loud

In this essay I discuss the three most important views on the creation narrative of Genesis 1. These are the young earth view, the old earth view and the polemical text view. Each of these reflect the context of the community in which these views originated. Each view has a different approach in dealing with the relation between this creation narrative and the current scientific view about the origins of the cosmos. Each view has its own problems. I also develop a new approach which deals with the issues in a different way. The three uses of the word "day" (yom) in Genesis 1-2 are discussed. This essay is the first in a series on the Book of Genesis. (Key words: Answers in Genesis, Genesis 1, Genesis series: part 1, Moses - author of Genesis?, old earth view, origins, polemical text view of Genesis 1, Reasons to Believe, seven days of creation, young earth view.) To read click here: Does the creation narrative of Genesis 1 support the idea of a young earth?


In the news

On some of the earliest settlements in Israel: Evidence of stone age cultic sexual symbols found in Israel

On the authorship of the Letter to the Hebrews: Who wrote the Letter to the Hebrews?


On the new pope: Argentina's Bergoglio elected as new Pope Francis

On scientific evidence for the origin of the universe: A 'Baby Photo' of the Universe


Previous issues of Understanding the World

Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!! 

Willie Mc Loud se nuwe boek getiteld Op soek na Abraham en sy God - 'n studie oor die historisiteit van die Genesis-verhale (Griffel, 2012) het onlangs verskyn. Die volledige inhoudsopgawe word vir die eerste maal hier gepos asook 'n uittreksel van 'n resensie wat in TEO verskyn het.  Die stimulerende lekkerlees trant van die boek maak dit ideale leesstof vir 'n vakansie. Dit is 'n goeie geskenk vir familie en vriende wat in die betroubaarheid van die Bybel belangstel.(Sleutelwoorde: Abraham, Adam, antieke wêreldbeskouing, argeologie, Bybelse inspirasie, El-Elyon, El-Sjaddai, Enmerkar, Etana, Genesis, goderaad, Henog, Nimrod, Satan, Sumerië, taleverwarring, toring van Babel).
Om meer te lees kli
k op Abraham en sy God - koop 'n boek!!


If you find Understanding the World interesting, forward it to a friend.

Understanding the world is a monthly e-letter with abstracts of, and links to, informative articles on a variety of interrelated issues including origins, science, philosophy, faith, archaeology, international affairs (especially the Middle East and the European Union) and eschatology (study of the last events).

To subscribe to Understanding the World use Subscribe
or send your email address to the contact address given below
To unsubscribe just return the e-letter when mailed to you

Contact us: wmcloud@yahoo.com