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Lord of Time: Ancient Samaritans and Sir Isaac Newton
January 21, 2016 – 2:55 pm | No Comment | Leave a Comment

You may recall from a previous post in this series that we described how God caused the northern kingdom of Israel, whose capital city was Samaria, to be destroyed and deported by Assyria. Most of …

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Lord of Time: Ancient Samaritans and Sir Isaac Newton
January 21, 2016 – 2:55 pm | No Comments Yet | Leave a Comment

600px-Samaritan_High_Priest_and_Old_Pentateuch,_1905
You may recall from a previous post in this series that we described how God caused the northern kingdom of Israel, whose capital city was Samaria, to be destroyed and deported by Assyria. Most of its people were taken away and only the very poorest were left, while at the same time other peoples from other lands were brought in to co-inhabit it with the Jewish peasantry. Assyria used these methods to crush any possibility of the northern kingdom rising again as a unified people, and eventually those who remained were called Samaritans.

As you may recall from the parable of the Good Samaritan, and from Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well in the book of John, Samaritans were despised by their Judean brethren even though both peoples had originally been Israelites. The people of the northern kingdom on the whole had been less faithful to God than those of the southern kingdom in Judea. One of their unfaithfulnesses was that they rejected all but the first five books of the Old Testament.

yiddish-hebrewThe Judean and other Israelites felt so strongly about the importance of accepting the rest of the Old Testament that they adopted a new alphabet (what we think of as modern Hebrew characters) while in Babylonia. They used the new Babylonian script on purpose to distinguish their Old Testament from the Samaritan version of the Old Testament.  

The story of the Samaritans doesn’t end there, however. During His ministry on earth, Jesus traveled back and forth between the regions of Judea (in the south) and Galilee (in the far north), which meant that He often passed through the middle region of Samaria. Jesus neither ignored nor despised the Samaritans. He showed tremendous compassion to the Samaritan woman at the well, demonstrating that the God who sent Samaritan Israel into harsh captivity for their disobedience was also the God who extended His salvation to them through Christ. That woman is one of the very few to whom Jesus ever said directly, “I am the Messiah.” He offered her living water.

Jesus also specifically made the Samaritan the hero of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, rather than the Levite who would have been a member of the priestly class. If you know the history of the Samaritans, Jesus’ behavior towards them is both startling and heartbreakingly beautiful.

Later on in history, the story of the Samaritans takes another surprising turn. The old dispute between Samaritans and Judeans and other faithful Jews, about the Old Testament, actually helped to prove the veracity of the Bible as a whole. As we know, throughout history there have been those who try to prove that the Bible is not really accurate, or not really the Word of God. In the seventeenth century, some were claiming that the Old Testament had actually been composed by Jewish scribes during the Babylonian captivity, around 500 B.C., and that none of the books were written by Moses or even written before the captivity. Imagine how devastating a blow!–if true, that would mean that none of the prophets had actually predicted what was to come, and that nothing “written by Moses” was actually written at the time of the Exodus, and that all the histories of Saul, David, and Solomon were hearsay handed down through the centuries…at best.

GodfreyKneller-IsaacNewton-1689Fortunately, God used the unfaithfulness of the Samaritans and their subsequent deportation to Assyria to refute these arguments. No less a person than Sir Isaac Newton (famous for discovering gravity and other natural laws) pointed out during the early Enlightenment that the first five books of the Law had to exist before the Babylonian captivity, or else the Samaritans and other Judeans could not have had such a dispute about them—one which was in full swing well before the deportations to Assyria and Babylonia! If a disagreement about the Old Testament was going on before the southern and northern kingdoms were separated from one another, then no one could claim that the southern kingdom invented the Old Testament while in exile. 

The story of the Samaritans is a fascinating one, and God’s use of even their sin to justify His Word only adds to our wonder. The Lord of Time is truly master of every moment and every turn in human History!

Introducing the “Branches” Series
January 20, 2016 – 11:12 am | No Comment
Introducing the “Branches” Series

This series is partly an adventurous travelogue, partly a quest for perspectives, partly a celebration of faithful homeschoolers, and partly a way of connecting people in different places who love God, family, and education.
Between January …

Lord of Time: The Orchestration of Ancient Empires
January 19, 2016 – 10:08 am | No Comment
Lord of Time: The Orchestration of Ancient Empires

This month, we are doing a series on Christ as the Lord of Time.  You can read the introductory post here.
Throughout His story, God has played upon empires like a master musicians conductor. He has brought …

Lord of Time: Moses, Germs, and Watching Nations
January 14, 2016 – 9:30 am | No Comment
Lord of Time: Moses, Germs, and Watching Nations

This month, we are doing a series on ways in which Christ reveals that He is the Lord of Time.  You can read the introductory post here.
One of the most intriguing ways in which God …

Introducing the “Lord of Time” Series
January 13, 2016 – 11:01 am | No Comment
Introducing the “Lord of Time” Series

Have you noticed that Jesus has many titles?  ”Prince of Peace” is one of my favorites right now.  I also love the way Scripture calls Him, “Morning Star” and “Son of David.”  However, because I …

Returning Thanks: Kim and Kate, Part I
November 23, 2015 – 2:04 pm | No Comment
Returning Thanks: Kim and Kate, Part I

Kim and Kate belong to an online co-op called Vestis Madres (which roughly translates to “Moms in Pajamas”). They explained to me that when you have an online co-op where none of your students see …

Returning Thanks: Kim and Kate, Part II
November 23, 2015 – 10:31 am | No Comment
Returning Thanks: Kim and Kate, Part II

This is the second part of my interview with Kim and Kate, as part of our series on returning thanks for the journey of homeschooling.  You can read the first part of the interview here, …

Returning Thanks: Celebrating Primer Families
November 13, 2015 – 8:49 am | No Comment
Returning Thanks: Celebrating Primer Families

Some parent-teachers who are using Tapestry Primer this year have given us permission to post a few of the “first fruits” moments that they are having with their students and in their own continuing education as …

Introducing “Returning Thanks for the Journey”
November 3, 2015 – 10:47 am | No Comment
Introducing “Returning Thanks for the Journey”

The homeschooler’s year has seasons. In August we plan our trip through the educational world, buy supplies, get organized, dream dreams, and see visions. In September we hand out bouquets of sharpened pencils and get …

How to Do Tapestry Wrong: “I Use Traditional Course Titles”
October 27, 2015 – 10:12 am | No Comment
How to Do Tapestry Wrong: “I Use Traditional Course Titles”

This is the fourth post in a series. If you wonder why we are writing about how to do Tapestry “wrong,” you can read the introductory post here.
At Lampstand Press, we dearly value the integrated learning experience. So …

How To Do Tapestry Wrong: “I Blaze A New Pathway”
October 22, 2015 – 4:52 pm | No Comment
How To Do Tapestry Wrong: “I Blaze A New Pathway”

Welcome to the third installment of this blog series! If you’re wondering why we are writing about how to do Tapestry ”wrong,” you can read the introductory post here.
This article is devoted to examples of parent-teachers who have …