Friday, November 23, 2012

Ancient Palestine - an Invented Place.

This is from a Protestant On Line Bible - Christians of all sorts have been duped by Imperial Roman Propaganda, renewed by modern Islamic Propagandists claiming that the New Testament Story is set in a place called "Ancient Palestine." 

Suddenly dawned upon me this morning how Political Islam is so patient and able over centuries to control the dialectic. I was watching a video about Orthodox Christian History and they kept talking about a place called, "Ancient Palestine." That Jesus, Joseph and Mary returned from Egypt to "Ancient Palestine," and "Ancient Palestine" being the birth place of Christianity. I've heard this language all my life, and was shocked to discover that the word Palestine is used only once in scripture in the book of Joel. And it references the "coasts of Palestine" meaning Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashodod. (present day Gaza)  And what does scripture say of Jesus, Mary and Joseph's return from Egypt?
Mat 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. 
Mat 2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. "

History: the name Palestine derives from the name of the land held by the people called Philistines, who were a Iron Age Ancient People, now extinct, who inhabited what is now the southern part of Israel, on and near the coast. They occupied the five cities you see noted on this map, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath.  In New Testament time there was NO Palestine at all, and had not been one for centuries. Christianity arose from Israel,(Referenced 75 times in the New Testament) Judea,(Mat_2:6  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.)  
Sumeria,(referenced 13 times in the N.T.) Galilee (referenced 65 times in the N.T.), Syria (referenced 8 times in the N.T.), Decapolis, Tyre, Sidon, Corinth, Antioch, Phillipi   etc, etc, all referenced in the New Testament. Not one mention of a place called Palestine.
    File:Philistines pentapolis.jpg

Who resurrected the ancient name of the Philistines (Palestine) and why?  During the last few centuries, the world, Christians included, has fallen into a bad habit. We have bought into some early Roman propaganda. We have used the name Palestine, which Roman Emperor Hadrian placed on the country of Israel in 135 A.D., for so long that it has become common usage. This would be as incorrect as calling the Russia of today the “Soviet Union” or referring to Berlin as “East Germany.”  . . . If you know somebody who’s fallen into this habit, please share this article with them.
— Zola

Please note that the last Apostle John the Beloved reposed sometime around 100 A.D. and it wasn't until 35 years later that the Roman Emperor started calling the Holy Land, Palestine. Maps depicting the movement of the Apostles, and the spread of the Gospel in New Testament Times in a place called, "Ancient Palestine" is a false depiction. Some early Christians, third and forth generations forward lived in the Roman territory named Palestine. The name Palestine does not appear in the Christian record until around the year 300 A.D. in the writings of the Church Historian Eusebius of Caesarea.

Why is this knowledge important and refuting the common mythology important? Because the name Palestine is a direct attack on the Hebrew foundations of Christianity and an attack on the heritage of both the Christians and the Jews.

Christian Adoption of the Term Palestine
One of the first Christian uses of the term Palestine is found in the works of the Church historian Eusebius, who lived in Caesarea. He wrote around 300 A.D., as the Roman persecution of Christians was ending and the Emperor Constantine began to accept Christianity as legal. Eusebius did not accept Hadrian’s designation of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitalina, but he did use Hadrian’s term Palestine. Eusebius considered himself to be one of the bishops of Palestine. Thus, the anti-Israel, anti-Christian name of Palestine was assimilated into the Church’s vocabulary as the Byzantine Empire was being established.

"The Church has, since that time, broadly used the term Palestine in literature and in maps to refer to the Land of Israel. It should be noted, however, that the Crusaders called their land the Kingdom of Jerusalem. When the British received the mandate after World War I, though, they called the land on both sides of the Jordan River, Palestine. This became the accepted geo-political term for several decades, and those who lived in the land were called Palestinians, whether they were Jews, Arabs or Europeans.

"Even evangelical Christians who believe in the future of Israel have used the term Palestine. The New Scofield Reference Edition of the Bible has maps in the back entitled “Palestine under the Herods.” There never was a Palestine under the Herods. This is a serious misidentification. It would be something like looking at a modern map of Texas and having it titled “Mexico in the Twentieth Century.”

"The MacArthur Study Bible published just last year contains a map called 'Palestine in Christ’s Time' There are numerous references in the notes to something called first-century Palestine.

It appears that Bible-believing Christians have either knowingly or unwittingly followed the world, pagans and haters of Israel in calling Israel by the anti-Israel term Palestine. It is found throughout Bible maps, Bible commentaries and textbooks. - Dr. Thomas McCall, the Senior Theologian of our ministry, has written many articles for the Levitt Letter. He holds a Th.M. in Old Testament studies and a Th.D. in Semitic languages and Old Testament. He has served as Zola’s co-author, mentor, pastor, and friend for nearly 30 years.

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