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The Taxonomy of the Bible

Taxonomy is the branch of science concerned with the classification of organisms in a systematic manner. The origin of taxonomy comes from the Ancient Greek words τάξις and νομία. Taxis is where we get the word arrangement and method is the scientific study of naming. Unfortunately, the founder of taxonomy is often overlooked. According to Moses, Adam was the first human being to classify every wild animal and living creature on earth.

Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him, Genesis 2:18.

Following the creation story in Genesis 1:31, there was one thing missing, a suitable helper. Although modern pet lovers refer to dogs as man’s best friend, Adam became lonely and unfulfilled. Following the completion of Adam’s taxonomy project, the Lord came up with plan B. Like a patient prepped for surgery, Adam doses off before God does His magic. Genesis 2:21-22 tells the story of how Eve was formed.

And out of the ground the Lord God formed every [wild] beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name. 20 And Adam gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the air and to every [wild] beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him, Genesis 2:19-20.

In this age of political correctness, Science is kept separate from the Bible. Rather than compliment one another, agnostics and atheists refuse to accept the fact that you can’t have Science without faith. This ignorance is the same stubbornness that Jewish religious displayed during Jesus’ earthly ministry. While the science of taxonomy continues today, no one has done more work in this field than Adam of the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

Somewhere Between Desperation and Exasperation

My wife Leanne and I attended a new parent class at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware 23 years ago. This month long class took place shortly before the birth of our oldest son, James. Besides knowing what to expect along the way, these sessions helped us develop a plan as first time parents. Setting goals is a good place to start, but once your child comes home for the hospital and your extended family leaves, most parents go through what I call somewhere between desperation and exasperation.

Thorns and snares are in the way of the obstinate and willful; he who guards himself will be far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22:5-6.

If one of the wisest individuals in the Bible struggled to be a father, imagine how hard it is to raise a child without some sort of support group. According to 1 Kings 11:3, King Solomon married 700 women and had an additional 300 concubines. If you have ever stayed at a hotel where one or two children keep running down the hall without their parents, think of Solomon’s castle full of disgruntled women and undisciplined children. Perhaps, this led Solomon to write the passage above, learning by trial and error to steer his offspring in the right direction.

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord, Ephesians 6:4.

As James’ 23rd birthday approaches, it’s still just as difficult now for me to be a godly parent. While my two boys have moved on to college and grad school, raising a daughter has been a challenge. Being out of my comfort zone in 2021, I have to watch what I say and how I say it or I exasperate Lydia. The past few months have helped me realize that John Gray was correct: Men are from Mars. Woman are from Venus. As I find myself somewhere between desperation and exasperation, I am leaning on the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, so that I can fulfill Proverbs 22:6 before my daughter graduates high school next spring.

by Jay Mankus

The Departing

Exit, go away, leave, retreat, and withdraw are all words associated with depart. For the codependent, when an influential figure in your life abruptly disappears, finding a replacement takes time. After anointing Saul as King of Israel, an Old Testament prophet regrets his decision. Something happened to Saul between 1 Samuel 10:11 and 1 Samuel 15:11. If pride comes before the fall, self reliance led Saul to slowly depart from his faith.

He said to her, In what form is he? And she said, An old man comes up, covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and made obeisance, 1 Samuel 28:14.

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates coined the expression “desperate times calls for desperate measures.” The exact quote can be found in the Amorphisms. Under the pressure of severe circumstances, certain decisions have to be made that may not be in the best interests of everyone involved. However, if a hardship or trial causes you to abandon God, you might want to think twice. Once you depart God, don’t be surprised if the Lord does the same.

And Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disturbed me to bring me up? Saul answered, I am bitterly distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I should do, 1 Samuel 28:15.

The Boy that Cried Wolf is one of Aesop’s Fables. This story illustrates what happens when you keep sounding a false alarm. When the wolf does come to attack, no one will come to your rescue. The same came be true about a relationship with God, Matthew 6:14-15. Therefore, the next time you have a feeling or urge to depart your faith, remember the pain of Saul so that you come back to God with attentive ears and an obedient heart.

by Jay Mankus

Look Out for the Dogs

When I was in college, a dog attacked a child in our neighbor. While this girl survived, her face was scarred for life. Before this incident, this dog never had any issues with aggression. Yet, something happened, triggering this violent outburst. Perhaps, similar accounts in the first century inspired the apostle Paul to warn, “look out for the dogs.” The dogs are directed at a specific religious sect known as the Judaizers.

Look out for those dogs [Judaizers, legalists], look out for those mischief-makers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances—Philippians 3:3-2.

This religious group infiltrated the leadership within the Church of Galatia. Unable to let go of their Jewish traditions, these zealots began to added stipulations to salvation. Forcing Gentile believers to be circumcised, the Judaizers broke Moses’ command in Deuteronomy 4:2. Therefore, when Paul compares these religious leaders to dogs, he is suggesting that they are ripping apart God’s commands.

O you poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom—right before your very eyes—Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified? Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing [the message of the Gospel] and believing [it]? [Was it from observing a law of rituals or from a message of faith?] Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh, Galatians 3:1-3.

In the passage above, Paul compares the Judaizers to practicing witches. This expression refers to the legalism and rituals that the Judaizers adhered to and practiced. While writing to the Church at Thessalonica, Paul recalls a visit to Berea, impressed by their careful consideration of new teachings. These noble leaders were a model for other churches to emulate, Acts 17:11. As you encounter similar legalism today, remember the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 so that you won’t be deceived by the next pack of dogs that comes along to invoke a power grab in your church.

by Jay Mankus

Citizens of a Spiritual Commonwealth

As of September 2020, the Bible has been translated into 704 languages. While the original text consists of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, there are now 900 different English translations of the Bible. Unfortunately, in this age of commercialism, certain expressions and words have been lost in translation. For example, the New King James Version uses heaven 327 times in the Old Testament and 255 times in the New Testament. Meanwhile, heaven is only mentioned 422 times in the entire New International Version.

But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior, Philippians 3:20.

For this reason, I appreciate the Amplified Version which includes all the possible English translations. In the passage above, Paul describes heaven as a commonwealth, homeland, and state. This invisible destination awaits for those who trust in the name of the Lord, Romans 10:9-11. One of Jesus’ disciples received a revelation about what this place will be like, Revelation 21:4. According to John, there will be no more crying, mourning or pain. Heaven is a place where tears will be wiped away.

Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself, Philippians 3:21.

The apostle Paul takes the concept of heaven one step further. While our earthly bodies are temporary, citizens of heaven will receive a new body that will last for eternity. Another disciple of Jesus refers to heaven’s unusual timeline. According to Peter, one day with the Lord is like a thousand years on earth, 2 Peter 3:8. This is what citizens of this spiritual commonwealth have to look forward to. Don’t get left out as you still have time to make a reservation this Mother’s Day, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

Science and Religion

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm. This city in the state of Württemberg, Germany is home to one of the brightest minds of my generation. When you consider the more than 300 scientific theories that Einstein published over the course of his life, his vast knowledge ranks up there with the wisdom of Solomon. The secret behind King’s Solomon wisdom came as an answer to prayer. Since the Lord was pleased by this request, people came from all over the world just to hear the rulings made by Solomon.

Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people who cannot be counted for multitude. So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad. For who is able to judge and rule this Your great people? 10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this, 1 Kings 3:8-10,

One of the most powerful statements made by Einstein comes from an essay published in 1954. In an article entitled Science and Religion, Einstein wrote “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” When you read between the lines, this intellectual giant understood the relationship between Science and the Bible. The Creator of Science is the Living Word of God, John 1:1-5. Just as the Bible is designed to reveal truth, Science was created to help human beings understand the laws of nature.

And when I rose to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I had considered him in the morning, behold, it was not the son I had borne. 22 But the other woman said, No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son! And this one said, No! But the dead son is your son, and the living is my son. Thus they spoke before the king. 23 The king said, One says, This is my son that is alive and yours is the dead one. The other woman says, No! But your son is the dead one and mine is the living one. 24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword to the king. 25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two and give half to the one and half to the other. 26 Then the mother of the living child said to the king, for she yearned over her son, O my lord, give her the living baby, and by no means slay him. But the other said, Let him not be mine or yours, but divide him. 27 Then the king said, Give her [who pleads for his life] the living baby, and by no means slay him. She is the child’s mother, 1 Kings 3:21-27.

In this age of Cancel Culture, Science that doesn’t support the media’s narrative is disregarded, ignored or suppressed. If you go back to the final year of the Trump presidency, the Coronavirus drug Hydroxychloroquine was attacked, demonized and given false negative reviews because Donald Trump came out and supported it. If Einstein was still alive, he’d likely remind American’s that you can’t have Science without faith in God. I don’t know what the future holds, but Science and the Bible will continue to support one another regardless of what liberal talking points proclaim.

by Jay Mankus

Divine Inspiration

Divine inspiration comes from a supernatural force. Once this spirit of enlightenment falls upon an individual, people often experience a creative desire that is not normal. Reports of divine inspiration have occurred for thousands of years, typically in the context of a religious encounter. In the passage below, the prophet Samuel received eyewitness accounts of King Saul under divine inspiration. This led many to believe that Saul possessed the gift of prophecy.

And when [Saul] had turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart, and all these signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came to the hill [Gibeah], behold, a band of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he spoke under divine inspiration among them.11 And when all who knew Saul before saw that he spoke by inspiration among the [schooled] prophets, the people said one to another, What has come over [him, who is nobody but] the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets? – 1 Samuel 10:9-11

In the first century, Jesus gathered together a group of 12 men to be his primary disciples. Within this group, Jesus selected James, John, and Peter to become part of his inner circle. On a few occasions, usually during a special healing, only these 3 men were allowed to enter a room with Jesus. If anyone understood divine inspiration, Peter had a front row seat, watching and witnessing miracles performed by Jesus every day.

[Yet] first [you must] understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of any personal or private or special interpretation (loosening, solving). 21 For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it [to do so—it never came by human impulse], but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:20-21.

During my senior year of college, I attended a night of prayer. After this ended at 11pm, I was filled with an overwhelming spirit to share my faith with others students. In the next hour, a friend and I walked throughout campus, talking to complete strangers. My friend Mike watched in awe as the Holy Spirit spoke through me. An hour later, I didn’t remember anything I said that night. The only logical explanation for this one evening is divine inspiration.

by Jay Mankus

The Witching Hour

As the practice of witchcraft spread through Europe, the Roman Catholic Church prohibited activities between 3 and 4 in the morning beginning in 1535. This paranoia spread across the Atlantic Ocean to colonial Massachusetts, spawning the Salem Witch Trials. Between February 1692 and May 1693, a series of hearings and prosecutions of people took place as all were accused of practicing witchcraft. Thirty individuals were found guilty and nineteen were executed by hanging, (fourteen women and five men).

So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words. 45 Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of especially wicked sinners [whose way or nature it is to act in opposition to God]. 46 Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand!-Matthew 26:44-46.

While Jesus predicted his betrayal, it was during the witching hour when Judas led the chief priests and elders to Jesus’ location. Meanwhile, Jesus is wrestling with fulfilling God’s will, becoming obedient to death on a cross and the other 11 disciples were too tired to pray. Jesus’ advice to his disciples to overcome falling prey to evil is “the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Matthew 26:41. Every year after the NFL Draft, there is a rookie symposium for the newest draft class. A common message is repeated year after year, “nothing good ever happens after midnight.”

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. 21 Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good, Romans 12:19-21.

While walking to class one day at college, I noticed a female student carrying a Bible in one hand. On the surface, it appeared this young woman was a Bible believing Christian. After complimenting her boldness for not hiding her Bible in a backpack, her response caught me off guard. Without hesitation she replied, “I read it every Day so I know how to pray against God.” This brief encounter opened my minds to zealous witches, hungrier than most believers. In the passage above, the apostle Paul provides advice on how to overcome the witching hour. Rather than become overwhelmed by evil, overcome evil with good, by the love of Jesus in your hearts.

by Jay Mankus

Enemies of the Cross

A person who is actively opposed to or hostile to someone or something is an enemy. This adversary often becomes a nemesis who will do whatever it takes to resist a cause or movement. In the first century, Jewish religious leaders had the most to lose as Jesus’ popularity began to skyrocket. When members of local synagogues began to refer to Jesus as the King of the Jews, enemies sent this innocent man to die on a cross.

For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed One), Philippians 3:18.

One of these enemies of the cross wrote a majority of the books in the New Testament. Perhaps, Paul’s past aggression toward Christianity tugged on his heart. If not for his encounter with Jesus on the Road to Damascus, Paul may have continued to be an enemy of the cross. When Paul saw his former friends continue to persecute and harass Christians, tears began to stream down his face.

They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party, Philippians 3:19.

Well before Paul wrote his epistles, Jesus warned his disciples of the hatred that awaits his followers, John 15:18. In other words, don’t take the enemies of the cross personally. Behind the scenes, there are spiritual forces at work that will overwhelm you if you’re not prepared, Ephesians 6:12. The best way to cope with modern enemies of the cross is to put on the armor of God, Ephesians 6:13-20. As you do, you’ll be able to fend off criticism with the love of Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

The Science of the Bible

The Laws of Thermodynamics were developed by multiple individuals over 400 years.  French physicist Sadi Carnot was the first to define the basic principles of thermodynamics in 1824. The first law states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. In the very first chapter of the Bible, Moses understood this law, explaining this concept in the passage below. The first law of thermodynamics supports the law of conservation of energy. “The total energy of an isolated system remains constant; it is said to be conserved over time.” From a biblical point of view, this is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters, Genesis 1:1-2.

The second law of thermodynamics establishes the concept of entropy as a physical property of a thermodynamic system. Entropy predicts the direction of spontaneous processes and determines whether they are irreversible or impossible. In layman terms, the second law asserts that some thermodynamic processes are forbidden. One of the Psalmists refers to this scientific fact in the passage below. One observation derived from this second law is that the entropy of isolated systems left to spontaneous evolution cannot decrease. While human life is limited on earth, God’s power and Spirit endures.

At the beginning You existed and laid the foundations of the earth; the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They shall perish, but You shall remain and endure; yes, all of them shall wear out and become old like a garment. Like clothing You shall change them, and they shall be changed and pass away, Psalm 102:25-26.

In the last 50 years, naturalistic scholars and secular historians have teamed up to erase Science from the Bible. After a series of lawsuits banned public Bible reading and prayer from public education, the assault on biblical principles began. Fueled by offended atheists, this barrage continues today causing many Christians to hide their faith, afraid of retribution via the Cancel Culture. Despite what the liberal media constantly proclaims, God’s truth corresponds with scientific truth. During a conversation with a first century governor, Jesus reveals the source of truth, John 18:37. If you don’t believe me, read the books of C.S. Lewis, a former atheist who sought to disprove the Bible before finally surrendering to the Great I Am. This is the science of the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

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