Friday, February 18, 2011

World Religions A Historical Approach

World Religions A Historical Approach Cover

Book: World Religions A Historical Approach by Solomon Nigosian

This book gives a clear-cut, precise understanding of all the major and relatively better known religions of the world. I recommend this for whomsoever needing background knowledge in religion, especially from a historical context. This is a comprehensive textbook, indeed.

A concise, balanced, and reasonably priced introductory text, World Religions takes a historical approach to the ideological and cultural aspects of several religions. More than just a collection of facts about beliefs and mores, this unique text offers students a complex portrait of each religion, with scholarly viewpoints interspersed throughout.

S. A. NIGOSIAN, a research associate at Victoria College of the University of Toronto, has been teaching in the Religion Department for over 25 years. His most recent publications include: Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices (2004), From Ancient Writings to Sacred Texts: The Old Testament and Apocrypha (2004), and The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research (1993). His articles on Near Eastern Religions and the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament are published frequently in professional journals such as Studies in Religion, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Theological Review, Vetus Testamentum, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, and Biblica.

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World Religions A Historical Approach

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Six Keys Of Eudoxus

The Six Keys Of Eudoxus Cover

Book: The Six Keys Of Eudoxus by Eudoxus

Eudoxus of Cnidus (410 or 408 BC ­ 355 or 347 BC) was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, physician, scholar and student of Plato. Since all his own works are lost, our knowledge of him is obtained from secondary sources, such as Aratus's poem on astronomy. Theodosius of Bithynia's Sphaerics may be based on a work of Eudoxus.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Essays In Satanism

Essays In Satanism Cover

Book: Essays In Satanism by James Sass

This is an extremely well written book from one of the greatest minds in Satanism, and is absolutely essential to anyone at all interested in the religion.

It acts as both a practical manual for LIVING LIFE, as well as a portrait for a well-worn Satanist who was clearly raised in the world as it is and not in some adolescent, sugar-coated fantasy land. Magister Sass stories are not only important, but they are a whole lot of fun, too, and I found myself laughing aloud more than a few times while reading this book. It expands on some of the most important ideas behind Satanism, and elaborates on some of the supposedly "grey" areas that are so often brought up by the curious. It mercilessly attacks the feeble, though in a well thought out, productive manner; there is not a rant or curse thrown out in a childish fit here, and Magister Sass is clearly not interested in purposely trying to be "edgy", or "cool". His balls-to-the-wall attitude seems to stem from his experiences and his knowledge alone, and when he puts his nose to the grindstone on these issues, it never comes off as being arbitrary or superficial.

Magister James D. Sass is a sterling example of what it means to have studied! I am not just referring simply to subjects common to the world of academia, but also the full gamut of alternative subjects related to the human animal and its variations of behavior, most of which are subjects that nobody is willing to talk about or even acknowledge. His writings and keen observations over the years are those of an engaging Satanic master who has devoured literally tons of lore throughout his life through his love of books. He has gained an uncompromising Satanic street sense through the varied experiences of his very interesting and sometimes macabre past. Here is wisdom and observation firmly grounded in Satanic bedrock from a true outsider! One who was born that way!

Apart from his essays dealing with specific topics, he also outlines the beginnings of "Project Faust", and this information ALONE makes this book a MUST HAVE for those interested in pursuing what will certainly be a lifelong hobby, as it has been for him. If "Satanism demands study," this book is absolutely INDISPENSABLE.

Not only is this book right up there with the rest of the Satanic canon, but it is one of the most entertaining and informative books I have ever picked up and read, Satanism or no Satanism. I don't feel like I have even touched the surface of what this book has to offer. It certainly demands multiple reads.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Religion Belief New King James Version

Religion Belief New King James Version Image

NEW KING JAMES VERSION

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor other uses of King James Version, see King James Version (disambiguation).

This article NEEDS ADDITIONAL CITATIONS FOR VERIFICATION.

Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. "(August 2008)"

NEW KING JAMES VERSION

FULL NAME:


New King James Version

ABBREVIATION:

NKJV


COMPLETE BIBLE PUBLISHED:



1982



DERIVED FROM:
King James Version

TEXTUAL BASIS:


NT: Textus Receptus, similar to the Byzantine text-type. OT: Masoretic Text with Septuagint influence

TRANSLATION TYPE:
Formal Equivalence

COPYRIGHT STATUS:


Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Genesis 1:1-3[show]

John 3:16[show]

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THE BIBLE IN ENGLISH


Old English (pre-1066)

Middle English (1066-1500)

Early Modern English (1500-1800)

Modern Christian (1800-)

Modern Jewish (1853-)

Miscellaneous


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The NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV) is a modern translation of the Bible published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. The anglicized edition was originally known as the REVISED AUTHORIZED VERSION, but the NKJV title is now used universally.

The NKJV was published in three stages:


* New King James Bible, New Testament; 1979
* New King James Bible, New Testament and Psalms; 1980
* New King James Version of the Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments; 1982

An unabridged audio version called "The Word of Promise Audio Bible" has also been produced by the publisher. It is narrated by well-known celebrities and fully dramatized with music and sound effects.

Gideons International, an organization that places Bibles in hotels and hospitals, uses the NKJV translation.

CONTENTS


[show]

[EDIT] BEGINNINGS

The NKJV translation project, which was conceived by Arthur Farstad, was inaugurated in 1975 with two meetings (Nashville and Chicago) of 130 biblical scholars, pastors, and theologians. The men who were invited to these meetings prepared the guidelines for the NKJV. The New Testament was published in 1979, the Psalms in 1980, and the full NKJV Bible in 1982 taken a total of 7 years to complete.

The aim of its translators was to update the vocabulary and grammar of the King James Version, while preserving the classic style and literary beauty of the original 1611 KJV version. The 130 translators believed in unyielding faithfulness to the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew texts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also agreed upon for most New King James Bibles was, easier event descriptions, history of each book, and added dictionary and updated concordance.

[EDIT] UPDATE TO KING JAMES VERSION

According to the preface of the New King James Version (p. v-vi), the NKJV uses the 1967/1977 Stuttgart edition of the "Biblia Hebraica" for the Old Testament, with frequent comparisons made to the Ben Hayyim edition of the Mikraot Gedolot published by Bomberg in 1524-25, which was used for the King James Version. Both the Old Testament text of the NKJV and that of the KJV come from the ben Asher text (known as the Masoretic Text). However, the 1967/1977 Stuttgart edition of the "Biblia Hebraica" used by the NKJV uses an earlier manuscript (the Leningrad Manuscript B19a) than that of the KJV.

The New King James Version also uses the Textus Receptus ("Received Text") for the New Testament, just as the King James Version had used. The translators have also sought to follow the principles of translation used in the original King James Version, which the NKJV revisers call "complete equivalence" in contrast to "dynamic equivalence" used by many other modern translations.

The task of updating the English of the KJV involved significant changes in word order, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. One of the most significant features of the NKJV was its abandonment of the historic second person pronouns "thou", "thee", "ye", "thy", and "thine". Verb forms were also modernized in the NKJV (for example, "speaks" rather than "speaketh").

[EDIT] CRITICISMS

"
This article MAY CONTAIN ORIGINAL RESEARCH. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. More details may be available on the talk page. (August 2008)"

"
This article's Criticism
" or "Controversy" section(s) MAY MEAN THE ARTICLE DOES NOT PRESENT A NEUTRAL POINT OF VIEW OF THE SUBJECT. It may be better to integrate the material in those sections into the article as a whole. "(August 2008)"

[EDIT] UNDERLYING TEXTS

One major criticism["by whom?"] involves the fact that the NKJV New Testament is based, as noted above, solely upon the ancient texts available during the time of King James and not on earlier manuscripts and documents which have since been discovered.["citation needed"] Since these earlier manuscripts, most of which (for the New Testament) reflect an Alexandrian text-type, are argued by most of today's biblical scholars["who?"] to be more reliable (see for example D. A. Carson: The King James Version Debate), the NKJV's adherence to the Textus Receptus seems to many to violate the spirit of open scholarship and open inquiry, and to ascribe a level of perfection to the documents available to the 17th century scholars that they would not have claimed for themselves.

The Executive Editor of the NKJV, Arthur L. Farstad, addressed these textual concerns in a book explaining the NKJV translation philosophy. While defending the Majority Text (also called the Byzantine text-type), and admitting that the Textus Receptus is inferior to the Majority Text, he noted (p. 114) that the NKJV references significant discrepancies among text types in its marginal notes: "None of the three [textual] traditions on every page of the New Testament... is labeled 'best' or 'most reliable.' The reader is permitted to make up his or her own mind about the correct reading."

[EDIT] KING JAMES ONLY BELIEF

Proponents of the "King-James-Only Movement" see the New King James Version as something less than a true successor to the KJV. Proponents view the NKJV as making significant changes to the meaning of the KJV translators.["citation needed"] For example, Acts 17:22, in which Paul in the KJV calls the men of Athens "too superstitious", is interpreted in the NKJV to have Paul call them "very religious".

At the same time, many churches and evangelical groups have embraced the NKJV as an acceptable compromise between the original KJV and a Bible that uses a more modern syntax.["citation needed"]

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Spiritual Symbolism In Druidic Rites

Spiritual Symbolism In Druidic Rites Image
The work that allows the practice of religion and sorcery can lead into a vital spiritual and mystical path. The term 'mystical' carries a heavy load of cultural freight. We'll use it in a fairly specific meaning: "The relationship between the common self and the divine." In magic we are often acting according to the will of that version of the self which we call 'me'. We use our personal will to determine what should occur, and our personal power to make it happen. Mysticism is rather the other side of the coin. We open our personal spirit to the influence of the Gods and Spirits, and we seek to join our personal mind and will with the patterns of the cosmos.

These two ways - the sorcerous and the mystical - make fine companions on a personal spiritual journey. Together they bring the Druid's goals of Wisdom, Love and Power, in proper measure as each person might need them. So we encourage you to attend to both in your ongoing Druid's path.

Meditation and Ritual


Meditation is core to mystical work. It is the primary means by which we adjust our consciousness toward the goal states of awareness of the work. The basic skills of open meditation and contemplation will be used constantly, and your skills at concentration and visualization should be strong and well-practiced.

Ritual also brings spiritual expression to the personal soul, and helps to link the manifest self with the many expressions of the divine. From simple devotions to rites of offering and blessing to meditative rites of union, ritual can be a central part of a mystical practice. Skill at contemplation allows you to be present in and as the symbols of the rite even as you pursue the intention.

Forgive me for reminding you again. Please do not neglect regular open meditation, with no intention except to relax and refresh your spirit. The sages recommend a minimum of a half-hour of meditation daily, but even half that, perhaps broken into morning and evening sessions, is useful. When you are off-center or confused by your life, choices or circumstances, open meditation will help you arrive at the cool moonlight mind that can best solve problems.

Cosmos Meditation


In Cosmos meditation you create the vision of yourself as present both in and as the sacred pattern of existence. The 'mandala' (i.e. symbolic arrangement of icons or images) of the worlds and beings is arrayed around you. Into this mandala you seek to expand your spirit, to widen your awareness beyond the boundaries of your individual self into the greater worlds.

That work can be supported and enhanced with preliminary meditations on the Horizontal and Vertical Axes. Trances to explore the Three Realms and the Three Worlds can naturally follow from the Inner Grove vision work, and all this can be assembled as a single vision.

Of course every full sacrifice worked in our Druidic Order of Ritual contains a cosmos meditation. To begin with the Mother and establish again the Three Realms and the Three Worlds, is to be, yourself, the Creator of Worlds. You can always take those chances to contemplate the Cosmos, to share your own duile - your components - with those of the greater world, bone to stone, breath to wind.

The Da Fein


We have been referring to your Personal Inner Divinity, the God-of-Yourself, as the Da Fein. Of all the work you have done, this is the most intimate and personal, and the least amenable to instruction. Your visions, your intuition, will lead you toward greater communion with the Da Fein as you continue to meditate upon it.

One approach is to set up an active shrine to your Da Fein. It may seem ironic to attempt to make an exterior shrine or to offer I-and-Thou worship to that which is the very center of the self. However, ritual, representation and symbolism satisfy and focus the common conscious mind, and with the mind calmed and focused, you can more clearly hear the voice of the God of You.

The choice of an icon to express the presence of the Da Fein is itself an exercise. Some have chosen an 'angelic' style of depiction, and another approach is to choose an entirely non-human, even non-living, representation. From the perspective of Celtic lore, no more proper symbol occurs to me than the Vessel of Wonder. The Cauldron or Dish is one of the complexes that feed the medieval 'Holy Graal' stories. The Cauldron was the object of quests and raids often held deep in the Underworld or Otherworld. But, again, you must choose the depiction of the Da Fein, if any, as you are led by your own learning and intuition.

Microcosm and Macrocosm


A constant in Indo-European religions is the principle of reflection and mutual influence between the worlds. This was expressed in late Pagan times in the famous verse: "That which is below is as that which is above, and that which is above is as that which is below, to accomplish the Mysteries of the One." So we begin with the idea that whatever beings exist in the spiritual worlds - the Gods and Spirits - may each have a reflection in an individual's soul. When we invite the Kindreds to our Fire their presence is reflected in us in turn.

The Kindreds as Mystery


Most ritual worship workings are intended to announce yourself to the spirits and gain their good will. This presents the chance to seek their power in your own psyche, in the cosmos-in-you. While there are many sorts of exercise to enter that awareness, it can be enough to remember that you stand as a mirror to the spirits, and they to you, even as you work ritual.

o The Dead

Every human being draws life from the lines of blood, of womb and seed. When we mirror the Dead in our spirit we open ourselves to the great line of memory. In the voices of the Ancient Wise we hope to hear the echoes of the work of ancient Paganism.

On a personal level the presence and power of the Dead awakens the very blood and seed of the divine-in-us. In time we, ourselves will join the Ancestors, and receive the offerings of the living, offering our potent blessings in turn.

o The Nobles

As mortal folk we dwell in the Middle Realm, which is also the home of the Other Clans, the Good Neighbors. The blessing of the Sidhe is the core of the luck of the world, and the wise seek to keep their goodwill. When we mirror the Host of the Sidhe in our spirit we may glimpse the stealth of the night-runner, or the vision of the eagle, or the warm deep of borrow or the high perspective of mountain winds and moonlight.

On the personal level work with the Noble Ones can awaken affinities and related powers in the magician. The Wights are often called upon in magical arts, and we can learn secrets that we can turn to our advantage, even as the Nobles learn by dealing more closely with a mortal.

o The Gods

The Shining Beings we call the gods and goddesses are the Eldest and Mightiest, those who in the first days helped to shape cosmos and set life in it, and who still live eternal. The Gods are the very persons of the divine, in its brightest and deepest sense. In the presence of a god, especially, we may be carried out of our common self into a greater perspective

On a personal level, you may find your relationship with the Earth Mother and the Gatekeeper to be sufficient for your work. However it is common for other gods to become a part of your personal spirituality, and you should be aware of their voices when they call to you.

o Sacrifice and Blessing

Druidic spirituality is based in reciprocity - in the proper exchange of good for good between mortals and the spirits. The symbol of sacrifice and blessing, when we seek its deeper meaning, reminds of the eternal link between the individual and the great pattern of existence - between the dancer and the Dance.

In the drinking of the Blessing (or even in the working of a spell, in a practical rite) we become ready to focus directly on the reflection between the invited beings and our own spirit. We have that moment that is called by words meaning 'audience' - when the divine beholds us, and we behold the divine. Such are the moments that fill our inner cauldrons, granting us health, wealth and wisdom.

o A Mystical Practice

Even if you feel more drawn to sorcery and practical magic than to the search for spiritual awareness it is worth your while to remember these things. As you work your rites remember these other meanings, these deeper mysteries, behind the symbols of your working shrine. To advance this kind of awareness can only increase your wisdom, and thus your power.

Whatever your inclination, may you walk your path in the Druid's Peace, with a clear heart and a steady hand, and wisdom in your brow.

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