This week we are publishing a new app, the Gospel Harmony. This blog explores why, and explains some of the details. Also in the blog a heads up about using lots, now that we are in a war. Finally, a review of the headlines for the July 8 date, the NATO summit and cluster munitions being given to Ukraine.
There are 2 primary tools for studying the Bible. The first primary tool is called a concordance. The second primary tool is called a harmony. Let me briefly explain their important purposes.
Concordances are used to study how well English translations are tracking the underlying original language texts. They do this by linking English words back to original language words. Because English readers do not know Hebrew nor Greek, concordances assign numbers to every original language word. Links between words are then done using numbers. Then, for each of those word/number pairs, concordances show off how the translators chose to translate specific original language terms into English.
This allows typical users who do not know the underlying languages to easily see certain types of games played by modern translators. We don't yet have anything like this online, but are thinking about it.
Harmonies are a very different tool. They are used to study structural differences between otherwise similar passages in the text. More narrowly, most published harmonies are used to study narrative differences between the 4 Gospels. So they are usually called Harmonies of the Gospels, or Gospel Harmonies.
There are a few other areas in the text which could theoretically be set into harmonies, but these are not usually commercially interesting. For example, Kings and Chronicles could be set into a harmony. There is also other material, such as from Moses, which could also be interestingly set into a harmony format.
While concordances are used to study what modern translators are doing, harmonies are used to study whatever was going on when the Gospels were being constructed.
In preparing this blog, I checked Amazon to see how many Gospel Harmonies are available there. I found 48 listed for sale. They mostly differ by 2 different variables.
The first variable is the translation used for the harmony. If you are an NIV fan, or an ESV fan or a KJV fan, then you will want a harmony in one of those familiar versions.
The second variable is the story order used in the harmony. Different harmony authors collate the stories from the Gospels in different orders. This is done by modern harmony authors because there is no agreement between the Gospels themselves on what the order should be when telling the historical stories of the NT era.
Use of Harmonies in educational settings is often reserved for Master's level classes because they reveal secrets in the text that organized church would rather most people not notice.
If you want to quickly find contradictions, say, in the historical record dealing with Joshua, the quickest and easiest way to do that is to pull out a Harmony and start reading.
Normal Protestant understanding of the inspiration of Scripture would suggest the 4 Gospels should agree with each other. They often times do not, sometimes seriously so.
Protestant disposition tends to look towards finding common meaning in otherwise conflicting stories. Atheist disposition tends to use obvious contradictions as evidence that the book is not inspired.
We, of course, fall somewhere in the middle of this debate.
Showing off problems in the text is why Harmonies are not a common tool in your average home weekly Bible Study. Nor are they used publicly by preachers.
With this introduction to Harmonies, now let me back up and explain what Ryan found when he was working on Ezra related filter tags in the BRB. His work there is what caused him to need our own harmony app.
Ryan's Work On Ezra
Ryan recently finished a review of the Filter tags in the OT of the BRB. His general conclusion was that Ezra was the primary editor throughout most of the OT.
The commissioning letter to Ezra basically describes how he was tasked to build an enduring religion. A religion that had the force of the king's army behind it. A religion that would last for centuries.
Organized religion was not a purpose of the earlier editors. Solomon, Ahab/Jezebel, Nebuchadnezzar and Mordecai were not substantive in editing extant texts.
Solomon and Jezebel are especially limited because the texts in their days were still in Paleo. Paleo was the daily language, so there were the few inspired texts in Paleo, and then everything else that anyone might write was also in Paleo.
Solomon and Jezebel could easily write anything they wanted, and those writings would simply be theirs. Those 2 writers seem to only have written their own side documents that were canonized later.
Once Nebuchadnezzar invents Hebrew the average reader looses track of the audit system. Now more changes can be made. It is into this context that Ezra can build a new religious canon. That canon was and still is based on community acceptance and not based on any sort of proof of inspiration.
Though to be fair, Ezra did write in various grids against his new canon. So the set of works in the canon are themselves gridded into the canon by passages in the canon. Isaiah, for example, is hitting topics from Ezra's OT books in Ezra's intended OT book order. Psalm 119 is also doing the same.
Ezra grew out of the then recent events in Mordecai's day. Mordecai had setup Purim as 2 new and uninspired end of year holidays. Ezra used that as a model for many bigger themes built on the same idea.
The fundamental racism and exclusive nature of many of the passages in the OT can all be attributed to Ezra. Ezra was charged with setting up ceremonial functions and temple service. He edited earlier inspired texts to give himself cover for what he was inventing.
Acts 15 established the idea that Moses was read in Synagogues every Sabbath. That practice, reading in public houses and not private houses, is what Ezra began. The 5 volumes that start the texts we know now, called Moses, and the establishment of Synagogues, are both an invention of Ezra.
On top of Purim, the end-of-the-year holiday, Ezra now imagined an end-of-the-age kingdom. So presumably he was taking the model of the year and scaling it up to all of history. The battles of Purim thus inspire him to have end-of-the-age battles of the same nature, just a bigger scale.
Plans for a large end-of-the-age temple match Ezra's immediate desire to get running the then new temple in Jerusalem. The more grandiose end of the age visions of a temple are what he imagined his temple would one day grow into. The fights at Purim model the future fights over that future temple.
The sacrifice systems described in detail in many places are all Ezra's idea. Foreign wives and the need to remain separate from the people around are also Ezra. Ezra is even the man who promoted Hebrew, a language invented only decades before. Not many people appear to have known Hebrew in Ezra's day, thus his need to interpret the text to his early crowds. Circumcision is yet another Ezra idea.
When Acts 15 laments that Moses is read each week in Synagogues since ancient times, it is referencing Ezra's long established accomplishments.
Filter Tag Changes
Ryan basically shifted most of the filter tags in the BRB to Ezra, as Ezra appears to be responsible for nearly all OT textual additions.
Ryan's conclusion is in agreement with much of the academic world that suggests the Bible as we know it now came together about 2500 years ago. This is not the normal Protestant idea of the inspiration of scripture.
What Ryan has now done with the filter tags in the BRB is show what topics Ezra invents and inserts into the likely inspired passages. Only a few places are still marked by the other editors, and these mostly whole books. The passages in the OT that are not under filter tags are what match the Protestant idea of inspired text.
With Ezra in his head, Ryan turned to the NT to see if he could understand how his new understanding of Ezra might impact his understanding of Ananias' NT edits. Here things got even harder.
Ananias in Ezra's Footsteps
Ananias, the NT editor, is following in Ezra's office of high priest. Indeed, we have wondered if Ananias isn't the very same soul as Ezra. Ananias by his upbringing is steeped in Ezra's tradition.
Ananias was also an early disciple, and gave Paul a prophetic word soon after Paul's Damascus Road event. Ananias knew well what the inspired NT was about. But, Ananias is also a false prophet.
Ananias turned back to the old religion of Ezra. So Ananias knew what he needed to hide. He knew he needed to bring the NT into conformance to Ezra. But like Ezra, Ananias was limited by the Law of Babel, where all he could do was add to the extant texts.
The utter contradictory mess that is the modern NT, that anyone who has ever read a Harmony can well understand, is the creation of Ananias. All harmonies of the Gospels are ultimately the main tool for studying the work of Ananias.
When the church world is forced to give an apology for the Gospels, they usually tell a story about how the NT was written maybe a century after the events in the NT.
The contradictory mess that is the Gospels can then be excused as being caused by the lack of quality caused by oral transmission of the stories. This is just an excuse. The real problem is the fact that the villains of the NT got a hold of the NT texts and messed it up on purpose.
The other story that you will often here is that Mark was the first Gospel and that the others followed later.
We have wondered at times if anything in Mark is inspired. Mark is more in alignment with Ezra than any of the other Gospels.
Communities that are ultimately in Ezra's enduring religious tradition would naturally gravitate to books like Mark which more completely support that tradition.
So in order to promote a false understanding of Joshua they want to promote Mark as being the oldest and therefore the most authoritative witness.
All of these points are interesting, but they don't solve the fundamental problem. What is the procedure for finding Ananias' work in the extant NT texts?
Ryan's Need For A Harmony
The very subtle differences in stories between these gospels are going to be pointing at differences introduced by Ananias as he brought the original texts into conformity with the Ezra traditions and theology.
These differences are often subtle, even to adding individual words between the different versions. Instead of keeping these differences in his head, Ryan needed a tool for this.
The aha moment came when he realized he needed a Harmony of the Gospels built on the BRB text.
The starting point was the BRB app because of all the various notations built into the BRB text. Those notations are controlled through the various options menus of the BRB. So all the normal controls found in the BRB were needed, including voices, keywords and quotes.
Then there was the issue of story order.
All published harmonies disconnect from the story orders as found in the Gospels. Modern authors of Harmonies attempt to harmonize the chronology too. This is a theoretical problem because there is no consensus between the Gospels themselves on their order of events.
Our history in this area is looking at context for stories. The order of stories matters. In the process of duplicating the inspired stories, Ananias appears to have shuffled story orders in order to hide something. This was not just a mix up from a faulty oral tradition, but it is the scene of a crime. There must have been an original inspired order that Ananias very much wanted to hide.
So the next problem was how to keep story order while also harmonizing the parallel stories.
The way around this is harmonize each Gospel alone, providing parallel stories when they are known. Use of parallel stories has another technical term, called 'supplements' and you will see that term used in the new harmony app.
For each gospel in the Harmony the story order is kept in order and whole. This is a powerful difference from published harmonies because each story can now be compared to parallel versions while each story's own context is preserved and remains visible within its own Gospel.
With these basic high level goals, Ryan started several weeks ago to build out an app that would meet these basic parameters. With this blog post that new app is now online publicly. Here is the link. It is also available off the main page of paleo.in.
The app is organized as an online book, with cover page, table of contents and then individual harmony pages. As with our other apps, there is a drop down menu to move quickly around. It is an app, so it can be installed anywhere that web apps can be installed.
The app has a paged design. As of today there are harmonies for each of the 4 gospels. Each of these has the same basic shape, with 4 columns like in most published harmonies. The 4 columns are always Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in that order.
Presenting this material in 4 columns puts some constraint on the devices that users will prefer when using this app. The font needs to be pretty small on phones. For old eyes this may be uncomfortable. Tablets and laptops are easier to read.
Each of the Gospels is broken down into a list of stories. Because of the quirks of the stories, some of them must be broken down into a very fine level of detail so the known parallel stories can be aligned correctly.
The gospel that matches the current page is always complete. For the parallel gospels there are various heading marks that indicate when the stories are not in agreement in terms of story sequence.
The app is functionally complete and should be useful to anyone wanting a BRB harmony to study the Gospels. Expect updates across future weeks. There is a bunch more work to do. It will be updated weekly along with all the other scripture apps.
The BRB text has filter tags, nothing new there. In the NT this is always FA, Filter Ananias. So for the harmony app turning on that filter tag does not seem to be all that useful since it is only covering the gospels and those are all in the NT.
But, by turning on filters you can see which stories Ryan is selecting as likely inspired as opposed to those that are the edited whole copies. He is still working on this problem, so expect this to be in flux as he continues to use this tool to study the problem.
The process of building the tool itself has already inspired much insight and he has made much progress already towards getting a handle on Ananias' work.
The paged nature of the app is also allowing for future expansion. The first known harmony of the Gospels is from the year 150 AD. It might be interesting to add that harmony as a page. It is also possible to add pages for more modern well known harmonies. As this work settles, it may also get a page that shows of an inspired story order.
War Time Lots
I know quite a few people on this blog use the lots calculator in the TT and/or BRB apps. Typically this is part of weekly scripture reading, though there are other uses, especially prayer and for asking Joshua direct questions.
We are now in war time and the nature of how Joshua is using lots has changed. I need to give everyone using lots a heads up on what is going on. To start this I want to give the mental model that I use with lots. That model is based on a presentation from a management class I once took. Let me give my testimony from that class, and then return to explain how lots are changing.
I started my career out of college by taking a job at an IBM factory in Rochester MN. Corporate headquarters were in Armonk NY, which is about an hour drive north of New York City. To get to the corporate offices involved flying about half way across the country and then driving north from LaGuardia airport in a rental car for about another hour, depending on traffic.
3 years later, when I was 24 years old, I was promoted into management. The very first thing that all new managers had to do was attend a week of new manager training at the corporate offices in Armonk. They sent me there the very first week in my new management job.
Mostly this was about how to stay out of legal trouble. Managers carry legal authority and speak in the name of the business. Normally new managers who do that get themselves into a world of trouble very quickly. For a company of that size, around 450,000 employees at the time, normally only executives should speak for the company, and then only very carefully.
There were other pressing new manager issues, like when and why to ask for help from specialized departments, especially legal or personnel or security offices elsewhere in the company.
Nearly the last presentation that week was from our division vice president. At least I knew who he was. I had seen him give a presentation in Rochester months earlier. His talk involved a single power point slide. It was a print out of his calendar for that week. Our class was 1 of the boxes on his calendar.
He wanted very much for us to understand how the corporate offices functioned. It was its own stand alone building with about 500 staff. He had an office there and except for secretarial help, he was the lowest rank in the building.
His weekly schedule was broken down into 15 minute blocks. Anyone who traveled alone to meet with him would only get 1 of those 15 minute meetings. Groups who traveled would get 1/2 hour, as did our class.
The after school activities of his children were also on his calendar. Should his schedule run late, which it often would, he could gauge if he was impacting time with his kids. Normally those below him in the org chart could not bump time with his kids, those above him in the org chard could bump kid time.
He then went on to explain how the place functioned when there was a crisis. This was often caused by the CEO of the company trying to answer some external critic who had said something about the company or asked something of the CEO. The entire staff of 500 often got reigned into solving these sorts of crises.
When that was going on, someone who had traveled half way across the country might not be able to meet with this executive because someone above him in the org chart was contending for his time.
He stressed to those of us in the class that should we travel to see him we might not actually get time with him. This would be because of some crisis going on at corporate headquarters that was upsetting everyone's schedules. He pointed out that when the CEO was out of town, that the odds of peace in the corporate offices went way up.
He also stressed that we should not take anything personally should we be asked to return home to Rochester and come back later to corporate at some rescheduled future time. This was to be expected as a risk any time anyone traveled to that building.
So what does this have to do with Lots? Let me explain.
When you come before Joshua in prayer you are in effect traveling to the corporate offices, or textually the throne room, of Joshua's kingdom.
Most of the time, through most of history, that throne room is at peace and at rest. It can easily receive the few guests who travel there in prayer. In those times Joshua is a king, and he extends his scepter to you and grants you an audience.
Now technically, Joshua has help. His division vice presidents, the kings who sit in the 25 thrones as described in Revelation, are also involved in the process of our coming to the throne room. Those 25 also have an extensive staff. It is a big group.
Whatever the prayer situation might be, Joshua may engage a king to help fix or otherwise help with the situation. While we do not pray to specific kings, our prayers are to Joshua, Joshua himself does delegate the answer. If you've done extensive lot sets you will see at times they reveal themselves as involved in those lot sessions. They occasionally identify themselves in lots, and will tell you who they are.
While Joshua himself is god, and unlimited, the throne room is populated with walk off kings, the prophets we read about in the text. At certain times they can get overwhelmed.
When might that be? At times of crisis, just like a corporate office. What is the most common time of crisis? When there is an unusual number of souls headed their way. What causes that? When there is a time of war, or time of soon war.
We have reached one of those times now.
Changes In Lots
So when you are doing lots, you are entering the throne room. Normally Joshua extends his scepter to you and spends time with you on whatever your topic might be.
Like anyone whom you might go visit, they may be glad to see you and have some topic that they want to bring up first. This is a common scenario that anyone doing lots should know how to spot. Joshua likes to change the subject to one of his own choosing. He is god, after all.
This is why we normally do open lots. He knows already what is going on with us and will set the subject of his own will.
In times of crisis, as we have now entered, the hot topic is going to be the war itself. The throne room will be focused on the war until it is over. This is an ongoing crisis that will have small intervals where other topics are discussed.
It is important to try and track war headlines so you might have a clue about what Joshua might be saying in lots. Let me give you the main pointers.
Ukraine War Key Words
From the bibletribes.org work, we know that the lost tribe of Judah is Russia. Any war time lots with Judah in the story is likely a reference to Russia. Joshua is using this regularly, so beware.
Never confuse the tribe of Judah with modern Israel. Benjamin is the biblical name for modern Israel. Joshua uses these names in lots when he is dealing with nations.
NATO is an amalgamation of the lost tribes that were under Josesph. Sometimes NATO will be referred to as Joseph. But Joshua is placing blame for this war in the west and will more often call out the NATO and/or Ukraine and/or the USA as some sort of other villain.
Expect NATO and the various agents within NATO to be called out as the various 'ites found across the OT text. Week by week the war scene is changing and expect this side to be called out differently based on the behaviors of the leaders within NATO.
Never get caught in any sort of NATO nor Russia related patriotism. NATO remains the villain and will remain so until nuclear dust defeats the 'ites.
So why would Joshua switch subjects to the war? Because he wants prayer for the war. Why? He dispatches the kings and their staff based on requests when help is called out by people on earth.
Expect to intercede for the war before Joshua then addresses whatever questions you might have, because everyone in Joshua's kingdom needs to be worried about the deaths that will soon be coming in this war. Even those deaths that to Americans seem so far away in eastern Europe. Those deaths will be coming to North America soon enough.
The other scenario important to know is that Joshua is telling people to come back in a few days or a week. This is going on even if you are on your normal Sabbath cycle. This is going on even if you have other seemingly more pressing kingdom business. This is just like I was warned in that class so many years ago. Do not take it personally.
When you get lots like this, do what you are told. Do another set at the appointed time. Always be watching for directions on how to pray for others. Joshua needs prayer in times like this. At times Joshua wants his kings to be operating under our dominion, not always under their own. Our prayers release their actions.
Be respectful of these time intervals. Don't do any more lots until these short intervals are up. No more daily lots unless you are told otherwise.
Be very careful about mis-applying lots. If you asked a question, he may have changed right away and not answered the question. Joshua might not answer for many days. He wants to see your walk of faith. He wants to hear your intercession for the war. He is not a genie. The isolated, happy, selfish world of the lives of many Americans needs to get more serious. This is how Joshua is doing this.
During World War II, there were places where nearly continuous prayer was offered for events during that war. We can pretty much expect something like that will happen eventually with this war too. The monasteries in Russia are again active and you can bet they are already in daily prayer. The same needs to start soon in the west.
2 blogs ago I suggested we watch for a 'confrontation with Pharaoh' on or around July 8, 2023. The general venue for fulfillment for this appears to be the 2023 Vilnius Summit otherwise called the NATO Summit. It was held in Vilnius the capital of Lithuania. Lithuania is itself one of the Baltic countries and shares a border with Russia.
Security protocols in Vilnius began on July 7, 2023, 1 day ahead of the prophetic date. Biden arrived in Britain on July 9, 2023, 1 day after the expected date. He visited King Charles and was then on his way to Vilnius.
The meeting with Charles went badly and articles describing it were pulled within hours as they made everyone in the Biden/King Charles summit look bad.
The Vilnius meeting itself was scheduled for July 11-12, 2023. Special security remained in effect until July 13, 2023, giving attendees time to split town.
The first major headline was the decision to add Ukraine to NATO in all ways that matter except by name. They did not include Ukraine by name as a member of NATO so as not to automatically invoke NATO article 5 and instantly cause NATO to be formally at war with Russia.
This decision goes against numerous promises made to Russia by the USA to leave Ukraine out of the NATO military alliance. The west is the empire of lies, and this is yet another example.
The other major headline, coming from about July 7, 2023, was the decision to give Ukraine cluster munitions. These are very rightly banned in most of the world and using them is considered a crime against humanity. Unexploded cluster munitions look like toys to children who live in former battle fields where these were used. Children pick them up thinking they are toys and they explode, killing the child.
The decision to send these weapons to Ukraine invoked immediate rebuke from Russia. Medvedev was the voice for that rebuke. He basically indicated that the west's action in this matter continues to move the world closer to World War 3. Medvedev provides some balance to Putin, so anyone paying attention in the west can see this is not a Putin only show.
No doubt Medvedev is correct in this matter. It is a fitting rebuke of Pharaoh and a more narrow match to the expected prophetic story. Just as Egypt fell by its own arrogant actions, so to will the west as we know it fall.
This article goes into the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken's, position on giving Ukraine cluster munitions. Ukraine is said to be defenseless without them. This is an example of evil American scum.
This extensive article explains why Biden and his cohorts should be tried for war crimes. Much background on these munitions.
This RT article quotes Medvedev's Telegram post rebuking the west for giving Ukraine cluster munitions. He calls out the west as Crazed, and that these actions are drawing the world closer to World War 3. This is dated July 7, 2023.
This article deals with Russia's ambassador Antonov's quote of American officials who admit the recent grant of cluster munitions will hurt civilians.
This is yet another example of a rebuke of Pharaoh as we expect around July 8, 2023. This article is dated July 10, 2023.
This article briefly mentions Biden's visit with King Charles. Further links discuss his meeting's problems of protocol. No one is to ever touch the king. This was an issue in Obama's term too. Biden's dementia appears to cause problems too. This article especially deals with Biden's logic behind how NATO membership would instantly put NATO at war with Russia. (It already is, but you can see the thinking.)
This article explains the votes and plan to fast track Ukraine into NATO. Like so many other articles, this suggests the west is fast tracking World War 3.
Hal Turner's take on the process of fast tracking Ukraine into NATO. It explains how NATO will create another council with Ukraine included. This so the main council avoids Article 5. Also quotes by European officials that admit that NATO is at war with Russia.
The link here is to a Tweet by Ed Dowd. He has been tracking disability claims against the US government caused by vaccine injuries. 34+ million claims have been filed since Covid. This is about 1 in 10 Americans. Most likely these claims are caused by the vaccine. This is a very good proxy for injuries caused by the vaccine. Injuries are a tier below death.