I REMEMBER my school teacher demonstrating to our class why we shouldn’t trust the Bible. He lined up some pupils and they played Chinese Whispers —the person at the front whispered a message in the ear of the one behind them, who whispered what they heard in the ear of the person behind them, and so on. Finally the person at the back said what they’d heard, and it was hilariously different from the original message.
BETWEEN THE Syrian city of Aleppo and the Mediterranean coast lies a huge mound which is the remains of the ancient city of Ebla. Excavations have revealed that it was once a metropolis at the centre of a sophisticated civilisation. Archaeologists believe that the city was ransacked and rebuilt twice before it was finally destroyed by invaders around 1600bc.
HOW OFTEN do we hear the Bible quoted nowadays? Actually, more often than you might think! There are many common expressions that come from the Bible. Examples are ‘wisdom of Solomon’, ‘go the extra mile’, ‘by the skin of my teeth’, ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. Of course, this does not mean that people are aware that they are alluding to the Bible, far less that they believe it. The expressions may have become part of our English language in the same way as those from Shakespeare, such as ‘pound of flesh’.
IN THE ACTS of the Apostles we have a number of speeches made by the apostles. These were generally given for one of three reasons: they were speeches given to outline the Gospel for those who did not know it, or they were defences of the apostles against accusations from either the authorities or the public, or they were warnings to Christians about threats to the Gospel.
DANIEL WAS a Jewish captive who was deported to Babylon in about 606 BC. He and his three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, though only teenagers, displayed great courage in exile, holding to their beliefs and the worship of the God of Israel (chapters 1–3). As an old man he faced being thrown into a den of lions rather than renounce his faith (chapter 6). God delivered him.
ORMSKIRK is a small town in north-west England, well-known locally for its unique parish church, its gingerbread and its vibrant market. This outdoor market is held near the old clock tower every Thursday and Saturday throughout the year. When the weather is good it is bustling with people buying, selling, chatting and advertising local events.Heart disease kills many people. Several risk factors for heart disease are behavioural and so under our control. Health campaigns urge us to change our lifestyles in order to reduce our chances of developing heart disease.
The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2002–2003 was found to have originated in cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in the Yunnan province of China, and made the leap from animal to human infection somewhere in the Guangdong Province in late 2002. During the period of infection, there were 8,098 reported cases of SARS and 774 deaths.