Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another Kind of Hebron Jar

Too much on my agenda today to blog any original content, so I'm merely regurgitating 2 interesting things that passed by my way electronically this weekend. See if you see any "connections" (HBR pun intended).

First, courtesy of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) Online Word of the Day (Saturday, 8/25/2007): "jar".

1. To make or emit a harsh grating sound; to make a musical discord; to sound harshly or in discord with other sounds.

2. To tick. ... To cause to tick.

3. To strike against something (or each other) with a grating sound, or so as to cause vibration; to clash.

4. To strike with discordant or painful effect upon the nerves, feelings, mind, conscience, etc.

5. a) To vibrate audibly; to resound, clatter, or rattle with a grating or grinding sound. b) To vibrate, shiver, or shake, from an impact or shock.

6. To cause to sound discordantly.

7. To cause to vibrate; to shake into vibration; to trill.

8. To injure by concussion or impact.

9. To drill by impact, as a rock; to use a drill-jar upon.

10. To drive by a jarring sound.

11. To be out of harmony or at discord in character or effect; to be at variance; to disagree; to conflict.

12. To be at strife or active variance; to quarrel; to dispute, bicker, wrangle.

13. To bring to disunion or discord.

OK OED, I think we get the picture! Now second, courtesy of David Wilder on behalf of The Jewish Community of Hebron:

"Following screening of the CNN production "Warriors of G-d", including a 2 hour segment dealing with Judaism and Israel, I think it appropriate to post the following two letters, between myself and Mr. Jonathan Klein, President of CNN/USA. The two letter are, I think, self-explanatory. I must note, that following my 'revelation,' I notified a number of people who had, like myself, agreed to participate one way or another, with CNN. Some of them immediately ceased all contact with CNN and refused to take part in the program. Others decided to continue. Each person can draw their own conclusions.
David Wilder


Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 5:44 PM
Subject: Cnn production of Religion and politics - produced by Andy Segal

Dear Mr. Klein,

A couple of months ago I was approached by one of your Israeli correspondents about participating in a program produced by CNN, dealing with politics and religion in Judaism. He introduced me to Mr. Andy Segal, who is producing the program, and we had several lengthy conversations, first by phone, and later in person, here in Hebron, in Israel. Our conversations were quite open and frank – I saw no reason to hide my suspicions about cooperating with CNN – the network's reputation concerning Israel is less than positive. We discussed this at great length, and at one point Andy requested to center the program around Hebron and the Hebron Jewish community.

Following much thought and conversations with colleagues of mine, I decided to refuse Andy's request, but did agree to participate in a more minor role in the program, basing our response to each request on its own merits.

A couple of weeks ago Andy again made contact and we spoke of several possibilities. He was interested in speaking to a family which had experienced terror first-hand, and had chosen to remain in Hebron, despite their loss and the dangers involved. I decided to try to assist and introduced him to Mrs. Tzippy Shlissel, whose father, Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan, was killed by terrorists in Hebron some eight and a half years ago. He met with her three times: first an introductory meeting, followed by an in-depth interview, and followed, earlier today, by a filmed interview and filming of the family, home, etc.

So far so good.


When we first discussed this project I asked Andy who was responsible for writing the script. He told me that he would be working on it, but there would be others involved. To the best of my recollection, my impression was that he was 'in charge' and for the most part, would determine the outlook of the script and would be 'on top' of the entire project.

This afternoon, that illusion shattered when he mentioned to me that in a few months, the chief international CNN correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, would be coming to Israel and would probably also want to speak with Mrs. Shlissel. Almost in shock, I asked him what her role is in this project. He told me that she is the narrator. I asked if she would have anything to do with writing the script and was told that "I will write the first draft." "Will she have anything to do with writing the final draft?" "Yes."

I then told Andy that had I known she was involved with this project I would not have had anything at all to do with it.

I am personally familiar with Christiane Amanpour. A number of years ago (about 10 years ago) she interviewed me. I had the dubious pleasure to have her yell and scream at me on camera. She obviously wanted me to scream back, so as to show her viewers 'an extremist from Hebron' exploding on camera. I refused to play into her hands and answered all her questions with a relaxed, calm smile on my face. However, I never forgot the interview. I haven't been yelled at, on camera, by too many journalists.

How can CNN produce an 'objective program' about Israel and religious settlers, when one of the prime elements of the program is known to be vehemently 'anti-Israel' and certainly 'anti-settlers,' so to speak? Her reputation is so blatantly prejudiced. For example:

So when people ask: "Why did the Palestinian people elect a terrorist group?" The answer is because they see them as a lifeline.

Each time I go to the Palestinian territory of Gaza, I am shocked by the reality on the ground. On a recent visit, I passed through a short tunnel from the First World in Israel and emerged into the Third World that is Gaza. The poverty there is among the worst in the world.

Hamas officials told me they did not expect to win the election as overwhelmingly as they did. They say their main priority now is to meet the demands of the people for a better life.

But that may be impossible, because Israel and the United States refuse to deal with Hamas and have already cut funding to the new Palestinian government.

Posted By Christiane Amanpour, CNN Correspondent: 11:03 AM ET

A woman who justifies and backs Hamas is going to deal 'fairly' with Jews in Hebron, or anywhere else in Judea and Samaria? She is going to present us as 'religious nuts and fanatics' who are endangering world peace. She is certainly not going to present anything that could be considered positive concerning us, our lifestyles or our beliefs. She is certainly not going to present a balanced, objective program dealing with religious Jews and Eretz Yisrael.

I basically told Andy that I was out – and wouldn't have anything more to do with the project. I put a rather large degree of trust in Andy – I believed that he had the possibility to present an object, balanced program. However, I cannot have any trust whatsoever in Christiane Amanpour, whose reputation stands before her.

Andy Segal told me that you are responsible for this project, that you initiated it. Without being presumptuous, I think it fair to demand that Christiane Amanpour be removed from this project. I cannot imagine that such a biased person could have anything to do with a project dealing with religion and politics in Israel. The results are a foregone conclusion, even before the cameras start rolling. The question is whether the program you are producing is to be an interesting objective account of religion and politics in Israel, or another CNN-produced Israel (settler)-bashing?

I await your reply and hope, very much, to learn that Ms. Amanpour will no longer have anything to do with this project.


David Wilder
The Jewish Community of Hebron


Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2007 6:41 PM
Subject: Response to your email dated January 30, 2007

Dear Mr. Wilder,

Let me begin by thanking you for your comments. I am sorry that the Jewish Community of Hebron has chosen not to be represented in our documentary. Our mission is to produce a program that goes far beyond what is normally seen in daily news broadcasts so that our viewers can better understand the people who risk their lives -- and their children's - to live on land they believe is their birthright: Jerusalem and the West Bank. Our goal is not to find fault or fix blame -- but to simply understand. To that end, I believe that you are missing a prime opportunity to be heard, not only in the United States, but in 180 countries around the world, and I would ask you to reconsider.

Regardless of your decision, I stand by CNN's reputation as a fair and impartial source of information. On conflicts as heated and long-standing as that between Israel and the Palestinians it is not surprising that "both sides" are at times unhappy with our reporting. We often hear that we are biased towards the other side, and that may be the surest indication of our impartiality.

Christiane Amanpour is one of our most talented and prominent international correspondents, and she is supported by a team of our strongest producers. In fact Andy Segal, our senior producer, is one of the best. As you probably have discovered, Andy comes to the table prepared. He is fair, honorable and ethical - a journalist who takes his work very seriously. He has produced a number of award-winning documentaries. Andy and his team are researching, producing and writing this documentary, and you can be assured that his reporting will shape the final program. As a spokesman for a prominent organization, I am sure you appreciate the need for others input before you represent the positions and views of Hebron's Jewish community. The same is true at CNN - not only will Ms. Amanpour have input, but so will editors and executives, to insure journalist standards and practices are met. In the end a program like this will be fully vetted and sourced.

I can honestly say that if you decide not to contribute to this program - perhaps the fullest exploration of this issue ever seen on western television - you may regret missing the opportunity to let millions of viewers understand your story. I hope you will reconsider your decision, but if not, you can be assured the program will meet the highest standards of journalism.

Jon Klein
President, CNN U.S.
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY 10019


Notice how Klein deliberately avoided Wilder's specific comments, & generalized CNN & Amanpour. Typical evolutionist tactic when debating a creationist. And typical evolutionist logic too: In other words, as long as each side claims that CNN is biased, therefore CNN is fair & impartial. Specific facts be damned.

Song of the week: "Between Two Worlds" by Patrick O'Hearn (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 26-second sample; 310kb).
G.M. Grena

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Stamp Lover's Bedroom

If a picture's worth a thousand words, here are 1,092:

Song of the week: "One Man's Dream" by Yanni (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 26-second sample; 328kb).
G.M. Grena

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Quran Confession & Qumran Correction

More than half a year has elapsed since Evolution Science went to press, & to my surprise, it still has not been outdated by any new discoveries! By contrast, LMLK vol. 1 contained numerous errata, but no significant ones related to any of my original content (for those who haven't read it, about half of the book is by me; the other half contains extensive quotations by archeologists & real scholars [i.e., those who do it for a living]).

Hot on the heels of yet another minor discovery to confirm the reliable historical content presented in the Bible (i.e., the Nebo-Sarsekim Tablet), this week evolutionists bravely confessed to discovering another flaw in their imaginary timeline of human evolution.

The recent issue of Nature contains the primary publication, describing fossilized fragments identified as belonging to Homo habilis & Homo erectus. Biology/anthropology textbooks typically show the former evolving into the latter over a long period of time, & as we know from the general theory of Evolution, the changes had to be small & gradual, especially considering the overwhelmingly small quantity of fossils that have been identified as having spanned this immense timespan (over a million years). Yet the dates obtained for the new finds reverse the order so that their existence-ranges overlap now.

In a BBC interview, co-author Meave Leakey explained, "Their co-existence makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis."

Fred Spoor, another co-author of the paper, seemed hopeful & as upbeat as anyone could be by suggesting, "the easiest way to interpret these fossils is that there was an ancestral species that gave rise to both of them somewhere between two and three million years ago."

(Musical interlude: "For people like me there is no order, Bet you thought you had it all worked out, Bet you thought you knew what I was about, Bet you thought you'd solved all your problems, But YOU are the problem!")

So instead of a smooth, direct trail of educated guesses tracing modern humans back to the oldest humanlike animal before running into a big question-mark between us & some apelike animal, now the trail needs to do a little sidestep with a new "?" inserted along the path.

In an AP interview, another co-author (How many Evolutionists does it take to screw up a "proven" theory?), Susan Anton, wasted no time in staving off critical thinkers by insisting, "This is not questioning the idea at all of evolution; it is refining some of the specific points." According to the reporter, Anton "said it would be a mistake to try to use the new work to show flaws in evolution theory."

That's like the cliche from so many movies & TV shows that include an evil criminal warning his/her victim in a cold/calculating voice when they attempt--or even think about attempting--to escape, "That would be a mistake..."!

She reminds me of Muhammad proclaiming on behalf of his imaginary deity, "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, & smite over all their fingers & toes. This is because they defied & disobeyed Allah & his messenger. And whoever defies & disobeys Allah & his messenger, then verily, Allah is severe in punishment" (8:12-3).

Creationists frequently analogize the illogic of evolutionists with an anecdote about a 747 airplane, which consists of millions of parts, none of which is capable of flying on its own; but when assembled by an intelligent person (actually teams of intelligent people), it flies. Yet with this new discovery published by Nature, we have yet another example of evolutionists doing just that: gathering a bunch of small pieces of evidence, none of which prove Evolution on their own, & they still manage to make it fly through our global education system as Science!

(Musical interlude: "The problem is you! What you gonna do with your problem? I'll leave it to you!")

Like the plastic hypothesis dubbed The Theory of Evolution, LMLK research has never been immune from errors. This week, artist-extraordinaire Kris Udd called my attention to an online publication of recent excavations at Qumran:

"The Qumran Excavations 1993-2004 Preliminary Report" (offprint of Judea & Samaria Publications [JSP] 6) by Yitzhak Magen & Yuval Peleg

Aside from the humorous copyright statement ("This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form without premition from the publisher."), I haven't found any errors in the publication, but it prompted me to investigate the LMLK corpus published by Andy Vaughn, which cites 1 handle found at Qumran based on VT vol. 29 #1 ("Sennacherib's Campaign to Judah & the Date of the LMLK Stamps") by N. Na'aman, which erroneously cites BASOR 142, p. 16, n. 27 for Kh. Qumran.

"Explorations in the Judaean Buqe'ah" (BASOR 142) by Frank M. Cross, Jr. & J.T. Milik describes 1 LMLK handle found at Kh. es-Samrah, near Qumran, but quite distinct from it (Vaughn cites a later publication for the handle by Cross, "Buqei'a, El" in NEAEHL, pp. 267-69). But actually, Na'aman's footnote was supposed to be listing handles subsequent to Peter Welten's landmark 1969 book ("Die Konigs-Stempel"; original edition still for sale at, which does indeed list the Samrah handle from BASOR 142.

What Na'aman should've cited was what Magen & Peleg did: "Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls" by R. de Vaux (London 1973) p. 2.

I haven't obtained a copy of it yet, or the more recent book that supposedly contains a photo of the handle: "Khirbet Qumran et Ain Feshkha II" by Humbert, Gunneweg, & Lemaire (Fribourg 2003) p. 353, but I certainly hope to once I return to my in-depth site-by-site research for LMLK vol. 2. (Thanks to Hanan Eshel for bringing this to my attention a few years ago before his reputation was erroneously/unjustifiably marred by his attempt to rescue a rare scroll fragment.)

Anyway, the Qumran handle published by Magen & Peleg is an H2D, which came as no surprise since the 2 found at Samrah by Cross/Milik & Stager were also H2Ds (the latter having Circles as well). It will be interesting to see which stamp was on de Vaux's 1st Qumran handle.

By the way, if anyone has a problem with any of the content described above, or any of my research (LMLK or Evolution Science), feel free to present your case without fear of getting your neck smitten, or your fingers &/or toes cut off.

Song of the week: "Problems" by Sex Pistols (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 30-second sample; 393kb).
G.M. Grena

Sunday, August 05, 2007

We 3 Kings So Disoriented Are

Three pieces of humor this week, though the originators did not intend them as such.

First, as a follow-up to last week's hymn-blog, I was digging through my reference-archive & found this blog I've been meaning to talk about:

"When God wants to do a new thing, saddle up" by James Adair (Baptist University of the Americas, San Antonio) in the 4/20/2006 issue of The Baptist Standard. In a section discussing Isaiah 44:1-5, he writes:

"One of the most common archaeological finds in ancient Israel is a jar handle from a broken piece of pottery, often stamped with an indicator of ownership—'belonging to Jacob' or 'to Obed,' for example. Many jar handles and other objects contain the inscription lmlk (lemelech), which means 'belonging] to the king.'

In these verses, the prophet says God is about to pour the divine spirit over the Jews, in effect putting a stamp on their hand that says 'belonging to the Lord.' God will not allow Israel to fade into the background, become assimilated to the surrounding culture and lose their identity.

On the contrary, the prophet says Israel's identity comes from its association with the Lord, an association so greatly to be desired even non-Jews will adopt the name of Israel in order to claim that association."

The reason it's funny is because I know of no such jar handle stamped "belonging to Jacob", but if you have some, I'll be glad to buy them from you! According to Adair, they're very common, so I would expect them to be fairly inexpensive!

On a serious note, I would like to emphasize that 44:5 includes the expression "LYEVE" ("belonging to Yahweh/Jehovah", or "belonging to The LORD") & the very next verse (44:6) re-equates YEVE with MLK ("The King") as Isaiah did in 6:5. Yet this writer (James Adair) follows suit with so many other liberal theologians & atheistic scholars who insist that at least 2 (if not 3 or more) writers composed the book of Isaiah & pretended to be the prophet.

In this particular case for chapters 40-55, they imagine he wrote in Babylon & gave hope to the Jews in Babylonia about 50 years after their exile. Their favorite line of logic is that a prophet (i.e., a person who foretells future events) cannot actually name a person who hasn't even been born yet.

As I've exhaustively demonstrated in Evolution Science, these people like to make up definitions to prove their point! I find their logic very entertaining: "You see, Jesus could not possibly have been raised from the dead because it's not possible..."

I respect their right to believe whatever they want, but these theologians fall flat on their face when they suddenly decide to believe in an all-powerful, authoritative God & proclaim (as Adair does): "[W]hen God wants to do something new, when a unique opportunity for service presents itself, we need to keep ourselves ready to respond to God's call."

Just hope that God doesn't ask you to write the name of a future king!

Let's look at his "Discussion questions":

"Do you think people outside the church evaluate 'belonging to the Lord' in the same way?"

No, some see it merely as a 4-letter word on a piece of clay designating military supplies.

"Although as Christians we claim that there is only one true God, we sometimes act as though other gods exist. What are some of the gods in today's world that can distract us from following the one true God?"

One is the god of Liberal Theology. The Christians who worship this deity read the name of a 6th-century-BC king in the Bible & immediately believe the writer lived during or after the 6th century BC.

Another god is Evolution. The Christians who worship this deity bow down to the majority of scientists who proudly proclaim there is no God because, by definition, Evolution created everything (with a little help from its angels: Energy, Collisions, & Various Processes Of Fusion; see Evolution Science, p. 49).

"How can we discern whether what someone proposes is God's will? If we think we might be hearing God's call to change our lives in some radical way, how can we know whether the voice we hear really is God's?"

Today if someone were to tell me they heard God's voice, I'd ask them if they taped it. If not, I'd ask them to go back, get a recording device ready, & ask God to repeat the message so others will be able to hear it. In the meantime, I'd ask them to read their Bible & wait patiently!

The 2nd funny came to my attention courtesy of Dr. Claude Mariottini, Professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary:

"Mario Liverani, in his book, Israel’s History and the History of Israel (London: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2005) relates Hezekiah’s response to Sennacherib’s message. In his book, Liverani (p. 148) quotes the annals of Sennacherib to express Hezekiah’s reaction: "As to Hezekiah, the Judean, he did not submit to my joke."

Note that the editorial description of the book on Amazon could not resist emphasizing the Bible's "historic unreliability" (the translation from the book's original Italian to English came courtesy of Chiara Peri & Philip R. Davies).

And the 3rd funny came to my attention this week courtesy of the atheistic, closed-minded contributors to Archaeology magazine in a story by Laura Sexton, Book of Jeremiah Confirmed?

A footnote says she's "an undergraduate majoring in History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago." That's an impressive curriculum! Without getting into an argument over whether Nebo-Sarsekim was actually the person who took the great prophet Jeremiah out of prison or not, I just hope her History professor doesn't see this:

"Spelling variations may seem like a minor problem, but they highlight a greater issue, namely the inconsistency between archaeological evidence and biblical text. One notorious discrepancy involves the 701 B.C. Babylonian campaign against Jerusalem. According to the Bible, Sennacherib, the Babylonian king..."

Huh? Well, I guess depending on how you view his conquest of the region he could be viewed as a Babylonian king instead of an Assyrian king.

"...who reigned from 701-681 B.C., ..."

Huh? Well, I guess this is proof positive that scholars differ over the date he ascended to the throne!

"...was unsuccessful in his attempt to sack the city of Jerusalem. ... King Sennacherib, however, left a conflicting report on an artifact now known as the Prism of Sennacherib. ... In direct opposition to the Bible, it states that Sennacherib captured settlements belonging to the King of Judah, took the king's daughters and enforced a heavy tribute. Both historical accounts cannot be completely correct..."

She's right. Somebody must be wrong! Surely no modern scholar with the help of computerized word-processors would make mistakes that might force scholars of the future to choose between one account & another...

Song of the week: "Things Go Wrong" by Chris Isaak (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 22-second sample; 295kb).
G.M. Grena