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Signs and wonder: How people of different faiths view the total solar eclipse

This total solar eclipse in 1999 occurred when the moon completely covered the sun's disk. Photo courtesy of Oregon State University

(RNS) Pope Urban VIII had counter-magic performed and cardinals jailed amid predictions that solar eclipses in 1628 and 1630 spelled doom for his papacy, and he later issued a papal bull prohibiting Catholics from practicing astrology.

A 1652 solar eclipse that blotted out the sun in Scotland and Ireland was widely interpreted as the beginning of God’s wrath, a sign of the imminence of the Day of Judgment.

And months before a solar eclipse passed over London for the first time in nearly 600 years in 1715 it was heralded as “The Black Day or a Prospect of Doomsday.”

Throughout history, eclipses have been viewed as bad omens or harbingers of doom, according to John Dvorak, a trained lunar scientist and author of “Mask of the Sun: The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses.” But they also have been understood as powerful manifestations of God’s greatness.

A map of the Aug. 21, 2017, solar eclipse path across America. Image courtesy of NASA

Today, many people of faith look forward to the total eclipse of 2017 with the same fascination as their religious forebears. Some see it as a sign warning of God’s judgment on America; others, as cause to wonder at the glory of God in creation.

For about two minutes on Monday (Aug. 21), the Great American Eclipse will darken skies across the U.S. as the moon passes between the sun and Earth, casting its shadow on the planet. 

Author John Dvorak

Weather permitting, millions of Americans will be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse, and those in a 70-mile-wide path across 14 states, a total solar eclipse, according to NASAIt’s the first time a total solar eclipse has crossed the entire continent in nearly 100 years.

“A total solar eclipse happens about every 18 months, but usually because most of the planet is covered either by ocean or by desert or by tundra, there are not very many people there to actually see it,” Dvorak said.

Because of America’s roads and transportation, many people will be able to see Monday’s solar eclipse, he said, and “that’s part of the importance of this one.”

But people always have ascribed spiritual importance to eclipses, and signs in the sky are part of the narrative of Christianity, Dvorak said. The star of Bethlehem appeared at the birth of Jesus, and the sun’s light failed at his death, according to the Gospels.

In the weeks leading up to the solar eclipse, YouTube videos and blog posts have appeared online sharing different Christian interpretations of the event. Some ministries with names like “End Time Headlines” have quoted biblical passages that suggest the sun going dark could be a sign of the apocalypse or warn of a coming judgment of America.

Anne Graham Lotz, an evangelist like her father Billy Graham, said she doesn’t expect Jesus’ return or anything other than an eclipse to happen Monday, but she wouldn’t rule it out. After all, Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew no one knows the day or hour he will return.

“I don’t dismiss that at all. I believe we’re living at the end of human history,” she said.

Author and speaker Anne Graham Lotz in Washington, D.C., on May 4, 2016. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

Lotz published a blog post prompted by the upcoming event that warned of God’s judgment and likened eclipse viewing parties to the biblical account of a drunken feast hosted by the king as the fall of Babylon neared. The eclipse isn’t the only reason she believes judgment should be expected in the U.S. for what she considers its “grievous national sins” — including legalized abortion and same-sex marriage — or because “God has been removed from our culture,” she said.

But, she continued, “It’s another opportunity to try to get people’s attention and tell them it’s not just party time. It’s interesting, but this is time to take seriously their relationship with God.”

“If it is a warning from God, then I think we need to take that seriously and heed it.”

The Rev. James Kurzynski

Perhaps the predominant view shared by Christians is the one held by the Rev. James Kurzynski, a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., and blogger for the Vatican Observatory’s website. Kurzynski told RNS, “The term ‘fake news’ is very in vogue and overused these days. The end times stuff is kind of like ‘fake religion.’”

“It’s just the kind of stuff that’s spun in a way to try to get Christians scared when there’s nothing to fear.”

To the priest, it’s amazing to think the Earth, moon and sun are the right size and at the right distances to allow the moon to completely block out the sun, causing a solar eclipse.

From Wisconsin, he’ll be able to see about 80 percent of the totality of the eclipse. He’s planning a viewing party for his parish, setting up telescopes outside the church and explaining what the Bible has to say about eclipses.

“If you’re trying to find spiritual significance of this from Scripture, really look at how these events were used as a call to return to God’s mercy and return to God’s love,” he said.


RELATED: The ‘Splainer: Did a solar eclipse darken the skies during Jesus’ crucifixion?


It’s not just Christians who will turn their eyes to the skies on Monday.

Judaism generally views natural phenomena as expressions of God’s greatness, according to Rabbi Menachem Posner, a scholar with the Judaism website Chabad.org. There are specific blessings for rainbows, even for earthquakes, Posner said, but not for eclipses.

Rabbi Menachem Posner

The Talmud views both solar and lunar eclipses as “kind of a negative time,” according to Posner, so they’re understood as an occasion for introspection, rather than celebration. But he said he hasn’t gotten the same sense from Jews that something bad is about to happen as he has heard from many Christians, even though some Christians point to the solar eclipse’s occurrence weeks after Tisha B’Av — a Jewish day of mourning and fasting — or the four “blood moons” (lunar eclipses) on Jewish holidays in 2014 and 2015.

“Although there is a notion of there being messages perhaps from the heavenly bodies and all that, people do not at all see it as dictating our future or dictating what is going to happen to us,” he said.

“We believe very strongly that God gave humankind free choice, and he put a lot of the determination of what’s going to happen into our own hands, so you will not see widespread panic or, ‘Repent before this,’ or, ‘Repent before that.’ That’s really not the Jewish approach.”


RELATED: The eclipse is deeper than we thought


Instead, Chabad centers along the path of totality — like the one in Carbondale, Ill., just north of the point where the eclipse will be visible for the longest duration — are gearing up to host eclipse chasers for the weekend. They’ll be inviting travelers to Shabbat meals, preparing lectures and offering opportunities to put on tefillin while people are gathered for viewing parties.

Astrologist Donna Woodwell

Donna Woodwell, managing editor of Astrology Hub, is planning to lead workshops on eclipse astrology and timing rituals by the sky Monday at a solar eclipse celebration at Oak Spirit Sanctuary, which describes itself as “a church of Shamanic Wicca and nature sanctuary” in the path of totality in Boonville, Mo.

At Oak Spirit, eclipse chasers will call to the sky goddess Nuit and take part in other rituals honoring the eclipse, according to its website. In the meantime, Astrology Hub is hosting a 14-day global eclipse meditation series online.

Like others, Woodwell encouraged introspection, rather than fear, noting the sight of the moon’s shadow reaching from the cosmos to Earth awakens the soul “in a very powerful way, and some people are overwhelmed because they aren’t used to knowing they have one.”

There’s also something powerful in shared experiences, she said. About 200 million people live within a day’s drive of the path of totality and may be looking to the heavens when the solar eclipse happens Monday.

“It changes us. … Where that leads us is profound. Even if you don’t believe in astrology, it’s a turning point because it has to be,” she said.

Map of the 1918 total solar eclipse, which was the last time a total solar eclipse spanned the contiguous United States, from the “American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac for the Year 1918.” This is a scan from the copy of the almanac held by the NASA Goddard Library.

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

84 Comments

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  • Good grief! This is the 21st century but I guess we’ll never eradicate superstition. It’s an awe-inspiring sight and I’m within the path of totality.

  • You can always count on charlatans like Graham Lotz to exploit natural phenomenae to advance themselves.

  • ” “It’s just the kind of stuff that’s spun in a way to try to get Christians scared when there’s nothing to fear.”
    As has always been the case.
    So long as you keep bringing me $$$$, you’ll have nothing to fear.
    ” Believe me “

  • There is a direct line between eclipses and the election of the Orange Clown.

    For hundreds of years, we have been able to predict eclipses. I think the Egyptians and the mayans and the Chinese could do it. So we’ve been able to predict god’s warning/punishment/wrath for hundreds years, as regular as..dare we say it…clockwork?

    According to Neil DeGrasse Tyson, there’s an exclipse somewhere in the world every few years. But for the god addled, it’s a warning, it Satan, it’s…god knows what.

    So, when religion declares it has something to do with whatever god they worship, all I can say is…

    Grifters gotta grift, and keep the foolish, the gullible, and the easily led in line.

    And thus, we have Trumpelthinskin.

  • Apart from any prognostications, there is something quite interesting about total solar eclipses which is hinted at by Father Kurzinsky: The simple fact that in all the vastness of space, the position and orbits of the earth, moon, and sun, are such that periodically the moon, which appears to be same diameter as the sun from our vantage point, should pass precisely across the face of the sun to blot it out entirely. This unequivocally bespeaks the Hand of the Great Watchmaker as the mathematical odds of such an occurrence taking place for our viewing benefit as a matter of random chance is inexplicable. In the words of Mark Twain, “Even a jury would have the penetration to see it.

  • 81% of evangelicals, values voters to a man, voted for Trump. A self confessed adulterer, congenital liar and exposed nearly daily for such, bankruptcy declaring thief, twice divorced. Who said publicly that sexual assault was just fine with him. (ASk your wife what she would think of a man who grabbed her by her genitalia, and thought she would enjoy it).

    Now, we have evangelicals like Graham Lotz and Brianna Fissure claiming that the coming Eclipse is a warning from god– a warning the Chinese could have predicted 500 years ago.

    So I think the line can be drawn without the slightest difficulty.

    Meanwhile, as far as MAGA goes, your boy decided that playing nuclear brinksmanship with a shakedown artist like Kim was a good idea. the racists and fascists have been empowered to come out of their slimy holes because their guy has been elected. They love him. He proposes to eliminate health care for 22 million people. Goldman Sachs has been handed the keys to the treasury. And all you can do is scream… “but her emails.”

    So I think yet another line can be drawn without the slightest difficulty. Because of the antics of the Religious right, politics and religion are not all that different.

    But sure. Whatever you think.

  • Total eclipses are for a limited time only. The moon used to be much closer to the Earth and is moving farther away. After another billion years they will no longer occur.

    A little presumptuous to think that the universe was designed for our pleasure. With that logic the Earth’s crust was designed to thrill us with earthquakes and volcanoes.

  • Her comments remind me of the reprehensible comments by Falwell and Robertson on natural disasters and 9/11 being divine retribution.

  • So by RELIGION NEWS and finding out ‘how people of different faiths view the total solar eclipse’ you mean Judeo-Christian news and ‘Hows judaism and christianity views the solar ecplipse’

    Sad.Lost opportunity.At a time when America is struggling with hate and ignorance this does nothing to remedy that.Perhaps thats deliberate , i am not sure but if so what a shame.If not please revise the article.

  • I’ve been present during a total eclipse of the sun. It was great fun and not at all scary. Though the sky was covered in cloud, the area of totality was clearly visible, a band of darkness across the sky. Enjoy the eclipse but don’t look directly at it. You could burn your retina.

  • It’s the 21st here in New Zealand already and I aint seen the eclipse yet and won’t see it. Nor will I see it tomorrow the 22nd. Don’t panic. Life goes on and false prophecies abound. God is sovereign over all and we all need to repent. Continually.

  • awe-in·spir·ing
    ˈôənˌspī(ə)riNGl
    adjective

    arousing awe through being impressive, formidable, or magnificent.

  • The last total solar eclipse viewed from contiguous United States was on
    Feb. 26, 1979 whose path passed through the northwestern U.S. states of
    Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Canadian provinces
    of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec

    As a Christin I am aware that sings are part of Gods way of revealing things. As noted above the last such eclipse occurred in 1979. So let’s comedown knowing the world will continue on it’s per-determended path and theres a lot of prophecy yet to be completed prior to the coming of Messiah, for the second time or first depending on your point of view.

    Daniel https://www.knowingforyourself.com

  • A billion years from now, it will be unlikely that it matters to us, nor to humanity as the odds seem to be against our surviving that long given present trends of human hostility and poor stewardship of the planet.

  • My pastor made an interesting point regarding eclipses. He noted that in every instance where an astronomical event is recorded in the Old Testament, whether it involved the moon, or the sun, or the stars, it was a harbinger for a coming judgment from God. However, such “signs” are hardly necessary today with respect to human sin and a coming judgment, all that is necessary is a daily viewing of human events on CNN.

  • There have been interesting–and different–thoughts shared by several American and Alaskan Indian nations on Facebook. For some it is a quiet time of expectation, for others no big deal.

  • That’s because they believed in astrology, Edward.

    Note the very curious words of the Magi. “FOr we have seen his star in the east…”

    Pure astrology, nothing else.

  • SCience could have predicted this warning from god 500 years ago.

    Religion could not predict it for the next 500

  • And yet trump just disbanded his climate advisory council, because climate change brought on by man made activities doesn’t exist.

  • I think you have spelt astronomy wrong. It is astronomy not astrology. Astrology is a load of demonic occultic hogwash designed to keep human beings blindly deceived and trapped in the mess of their sins heading to the lake of fire, and unless they repent they will perish and be cast into the lake of fire forever. Horrors of horrors no end

  • G’day Daniel, you have an awesome name: God is my judge
    Praise him forever, a.
    Love
    DJ
    soli Deo gloria
    Aseity

  • America urgently needs to repent of her evil sinful wickedness as does the whole earth before it’s too late, the time of repentance will be over.
    Psalm 51

  • The Indians blood still cry’s out from the ground can you not hear it? Are you deaf?

    And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
    Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.

  • Ben, unless you repent you shall perish and be cast into the lake of fire forever………..

    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

  • The last thing I’m worried about is burning in hell forever. I don’t believe in your god, or in imaginary and eternal rewards and punishments. Eternity sounds like way too long of a time to desire. Feel free to believe it if you like: it’s your life and your fear.

    Your second paragraph is interesting. We have laws which, according to you, are practically divine. Those laws forbid discrimination on the basis of religious belief, yours or mine. In 29 states, they forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Yet a handful of so-called Christian vendors think they don’t have to obey those laws. So, by your own statements, they are disobeying God. I’m sure that will earn them a place in your lake of fire.

    And in true Christian fashion, you will patiently explain to me that it doesn’t apply here.

    And that, my dear sir, is why I don’t take your beliefs seriously. Neither do you.

  • First, I’m probably old enough to be your father.

    Second, I’m not sure where in the Bible it says that Failure to capitalize is a sin.

  • I agree with you about astrology being so much hogwash. But that wasn’t the point.

    We have seen “his star” in the east is an astrological reference.

    If your god tosses people into the lake of fire for eternity for silly superstition, a good portion of Catholic Ireland, where I am right now, for the past umpteen centuries is now burning in hell.

    Quite a fellow, your god.

  • Jim my friend, no, you are not good, you are still lost, your GPS was made by demons
    Give God all the glory alone

  • Let’s talk about the Maori.

    Then we’ll move over to Australia and talk abut the aborigines.

  • DJ outlines the problem. Your GPS was made by demons

    I would suggest a Japanese model, not a demon model.

  • As much as I would love to stand on top of a hill waiting for my Lord and Savior to “beam me up”, I don’t think this is a sign of anything except God’s ultimate majesty in how He made the world, the signs, and the seasons. It’s cool, but let’s not read too much into things. Jesus Himself said that there would be all sorts of goings on, but the end would not be yet, that He would come like a “thief in the night” to those who weren’t saved. Just be saved, love God, appreciate His wonders, and don’t get too wrapped up in paganistic mumbo-jumbo.

  • These fake evangelists and religious nuts are trying to scare the pants out of ordinary, simple -minded folks. Eclipse is nothing but just that moment of time when the moon gets in the way of the sun and the earth for a brief moment of time. It’s been happening since time immemorial. So, what we need now is to educate ordinary folks so easily persuaded by religious ranting to be rational in their approach to the phenomenon called the solar eclipse and also not allow the semi-educated or the illiterate evangelical Christians of the southern and mid-west United States to get so worked up. Don’t worry the earth will continue to spin normally as it has been doing for last millions of years. It’s not the sun, the moon or the the planets that will bring about disaster on the earth. It’s man himself especially when United States has an immature and brainless clown like Donald Trump sitting in the White with all his cronies. We must get this psychopath of the White House before he puts his twitting fingers on the nuke button just to scare North Korea.

  • Ben, as a Christian, I have to affirm that the eclipse is a distinct warning from God. It is a warning to us Christians: “Don’t take yourselves so damn seriously!”

  • It is a warning from God to every single human being. Demons, Devils and Satan already know their fate and they are absolutely raging, wanting to take so many human beings with them. You cannot see them, only God knows their number.
    Ben my friend, if you do not repent and you die in your godless unforgiven sinful state you shall perish and be cast into the lake of fire screaming in torment, weeping and wailing and gnashing your teeth for all eternity on your own under the blazing wrath of God almighty no end
    you will be led up to the edge of the abyss and thrown into the bottomless pit

  • Well so much for god’s limitless love.

    I guess he created hell just in case you don’t love him back.

  • Well, actually it is very Biblical. Jesus warns against following false prophets, lying signs and wonders, and all this hooplah of trying to one-up each other and telling everybody else what’s wrong with them, but rather just keep busy being a servant to all those around us, and when and how Jesus decides to come back he’ll make a big, unmistakable announcement.

  • I can’t answer for the President; it seems evident the climate is changing, but I’m still on the fence as to whether it is a function of some natural process, or the activities of humanity. I think it likely a result of both.

  • I’m not so certain that it was astrology since the declarations are stated to be the Word of God, and for my part I have found no compelling reason to doubt them. That is not to say that such astrologers did not exist.

  • baseless conjecture, without any observation without any traceable written record of credible human observation.

    individuals who, can’t even predict all what is to happen tomorrow, trying to convince me what happened a billion years ago or a billion years from now.

    and according to Scripture, all of physical totality is designed to be pleasing to ELOHEEM. regardless of your mental insubordination, displeasing to THEM. according to scripture alleged as men, are the only critters that can choose to please or displease ELOHEEM.

    and according to scripture, we are all here in the same 7 Day Story again from ELOHEEM. even the last days, where Adam is put to death and physically returned as THEIR Male Child and Daughter again as brother and sister.

  • according to scripture, a billion years ago and billion years from now. this ignorant world shall still be going through this exact same ReAccounting of the physical creation again from ELOHEEM every 6818 man years. and the world to come, being just another repeat of day one with Noach to day seven with adam and chaooah as HaMosheeach again.

  • according to scripture you shall, never stop any physical pestilence, plague, or famine with more of your demonic idolatry’s that is the cause of all inappropriate hell and death on earth. THEY! are in charge of THEIR Physical Story of Creation not any of you. the only thing you, are in charge of is your inappropriate mental euphoria or phobias.

  • sorry but stars do not wander, nor do they move from the west northwest and become fixed in the east southeast and hover there in perfect synchronous orbit for many days.

    and it is, not likely marsh gas both day and night. my best guess, some kind of unidentified flying and hovering object. that today, would be described, as and alien ufo encounter of the second kind.

  • or a warning against your, rebelling against your president.

    but seriously if it, is not mentioned in TheTorah Scroll. it is irrelevant on how to become un-redeemed or how to be redeemed – which is the basic theme of all scripture.

    with descriptions and experiences on how to think or not to think, what not to do and what to do regardless of technological advances.

  • Don’t apologize to me. I think the whole thing is bunk bunk bunk bunk. And ha’s just the astrology part.

    But my point is that the reference to “his star” clearly indicates astrology at play.

  • No, honey, YOU believe I’m heading there. YOu also believe that if you are extra special good, maybe you won’t be heading there. I’m pretty sure I’ll be taking an eternal dirt nap.

    But again, not really my point.

    “For god so loved the world…” That he created hell just in case you don’t love him back.

    There are thousands of religions in the world today, and there have been thousands upon thousands more in the history of the world. But don’t worry, only you have the correct one. And it appears to be a lovely little lollipop of a faith– triple dipped in psychosis.

  • Edward, here you have the problem illustrated exactly– lifting the word of god completely out of the context in which it was created and promulgated. Any competent astrologer– and by that I don’t mean that astrology isn’t pure bunk, but someone who is actually conversant on the subject– can tell you that “his star” is an astrological reference. And of course, the Magi were magicians and seers, because that is what they believed in in those days. That’s why they were called Magi, and why they came from the east– I.e., Persia.. Look up Magi in Wikipedia, and then remember the character of Simon Magus. If you believe the Bible is true, then you must also believe he had magical powers, astrology being one of those magical powers. The power of flight is also one of those magical powers.

  • If it is both, Edward, and I don’t know enough to say, but I’ll accept the word of scientists, then we have control over part of it.

  • It’s not about do’s and don’t’s, because if you do the do’s then the don’t’s don’t matter. If you don’t do the don’t’s then you have to do the do’s or not doing the don’t’s don’t matter. If you don’t do the do’s, still the do’s are paid.

  • i am, not apologizing to you or anyone else. i am, merely stating the facts according their scriptures about an abnormal acting wandering star.

    as i am, not impressed with your astronomy. that claims stars and can move from west to east, north to south, and hover over a spot contrary to astronomy. hovering in a way that, can only be fairly reciently accomplished by geocentric satellites.

    which is about as stupid, as waiting all your life to see a full moon rise at midnight from the west to east.

  • if what you, are doing is wrong then it is still a don’t do it or shouldn’t have done it.

  • DJ, this from an earlier blog is very appropriate for you:

    “I’ll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don’t forget to wear your nose ring -the big iron one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practicing for the Uplifting.

    This time, though, unlike the practice sessions, when the swirling starts and your head goes under, don’t keep your mouth open.”

  • “I’ll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don’t forget
    to wear your nose ring -the big iron one that I padlocked the chain onto
    when we were practicing for the Uplifting.

    This time, though, unlike the practice sessions, when the swirling starts and your head goes under, don’t keep your mouth open.”

  • Again here,

    “I’ll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don’t forget
    to wear your nose ring -the big iron one that I padlocked the chain onto
    when we were practicing for the Uplifting.

    This time, though, unlike the practice sessions, when the swirling starts and your head goes under, don’t keep your mouth open.”

  • DJ,

    “I’ll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don’t forget
    to wear your nose ring -the big iron one that I padlocked the chain onto
    when we were practicing for the Uplifting.

    This time, though, unlike the practice sessions, when the swirling starts and your head goes under, don’t keep your mouth open.”

  • Yet again DJ,

    “I’ll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don’t forget
    to wear your nose ring -the big iron one that I padlocked the chain onto
    when we were practicing for the Uplifting.

    This time, though, unlike the practice sessions, when the swirling starts and your head goes under, don’t keep your mouth open.”

  • Yo, DJ, I’ll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don’t forget
    to wear your nose ring -the big iron one that I padlocked the chain onto
    when we were practicing for the Uplifting.

    This time, though, unlike the practice sessions, when the swirling starts and your head goes under, don’t keep your mouth open.

  • Sorry, I’m not looking for “the rapture capsule.” So you can let go of my nose ring. My head is looking for the progressive redemption of earth. Hopefully, you’ll be involved, too.

  • And I’m in complete favor of mitigating human activity to the degree that we are able, but that will be a balancing act, and we are making some progress in that regard. Still, it is likely that those continuing efforts may come at a not inconsiderable cost to somebody somewhere whether in economic terms or otherwise.

  • From the perspective of the bible, Simon Magus was a fraud rather than a true magician, why else would he have attempted to purchase the power evidenced by the apostles’, and even if the latter were true, his “magic” would have been demonic in character and equally worthy of condemnation. Astrology is predictive in character, but the biblical test for prophetic prediction is that the “prophet” must be 100% accurate in all his prognostications, this is hardly true of astrology. I view the Magi as Astronomers privy to prophetic insights garnered from legitimate sources; i.e. God.

  • Yours is an interpretation I’ve never seen expressed before. Can you cite a specific scriptural reference?

  • My comment at companion article:

    “http://religionnews.com/2017/08/18/the-splainer-did-a-solar-eclipse-darken-the-skies-during-jesus-crucifixion/
    “Could this have been reversal of Creation process which started with “Light” before Sun,moon,stars.? Any scientific or theological explanation?
    Loss Hall of Hewn Stones 30 AD fulfillment of Jacob’s Judah Messianic prophecy. See Genesis Rabbah 49.10
    https://www.biblegateway.co
    Fulfillment of Amos 8 prophecy relates “Sign of Jonah” & eclipse June 15,763 BC
    John 8.12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

  • read Bereeeshees, their is the description of more than one accounting of the physical creation plus this time again making this the third Accounting or Second ReAccounting.

    plus: you shall not recognize the g-ds* of others in MY Presence. you shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of that which is in heavens above the earth or below or in the water beneath the earth. you shall not prostrate yourself to them nor worship them, for I-AM ELOHEEM, your ELOHEEM – a jealous ELOHEEM, Who visits the sins of fathers upon children to the third and fourth generation, for my enemies; but Who knows kindness for thousands [of generations] to those who love ME and observe MY commandments.

  • Total solar eclipse went through the heart of America August 17 2017. A warning from God. This country is about to change. All great nations eventually fall if not checked. Donald Trump may destroy this great country as the Republican party sits back and watches. By the time they decide enough is enough it will be too late

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