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What religion am I? In my life, I have been told many things about my religion. My mother is a Roman Catholic, while my father is Jewish. I have learned about both religions, and I have tried to practice both as best I could, but I am now faced with the decision; which one am I?
           Christians believe that Jesus is both God and man, incarnation of God, and man -gives man two natures, physical and divined that they are united in one person. Thus the mystery of God becoming a human being, Jesus, and suffered and died, and Mary (Jesus’ mother) was the mother of God. God resolved himself to mankind in 3 ways, as God the father, God the sun and the Holy Spirit. From this we can see that Christianity is based on the mystery of the doctrine of the trinity, which cannot be proven and requires Christians to have faith that this root of Christianity is in fact true. The promise of life after death (salvation) is very important, without it they find life meaningless. Ritual Christianity is a ritual filled religion, especially Roman Catholicism. There is a ritual for all stages of life from birth to death. In following a structured one needs constant reinforcement of one’s basic faith, what better way than to have a ritual based belief system which starts at birth with the celebration of Baptism, which is the entry to Christianity and the first step in developing ones faith. Then as one gets older; he/she is Confirmed which is a deepening of commitment to faith and allows one to receive Holy Communion, which is the final step to becoming a committed Catholic. From this point on one normally goes to Church weekly and breaks bread and shares wine with the Christian community to which one belongs. So ones life becomes ordered in the structure of the sharing of bread and wine, which is the Body and Blood of Jesus; i.e. God. His or her life is structured from birth to death, through, the sacraments weekly worship, daily prayer and the promise of eternal life.
Judaism is the complex expression of a religious community, a way of life as well as a set of basic beliefs and values, which is separated in patterns of action, social order, and culture as well as in religious statements and concepts. The ideal is to remember God in everything one does, through prayer and keeping the commandments. There are many spiritual practices that the Jewish people follow as a reminder of their faith and as a way to engage all the senses in awareness of God. Some of these scared practices include: circumcision, Sabbath, eating kosher foods, and Bar Mitzvah. Of all of the commandments in Judaism, the brit milah, is probably the one most universally observed. It is commonly referred to as a bris. Even the most seculars of Jews, who observe no other part of Judaism, almost always observe these laws. Boys are ritually circumcised when they are eight days old, to honor the seal of God's commandment to Abraham. A person who is uncircumcised suffers the penalty of kareit, spiritual elimination. Sabbath is the most important ritual observance in Judaism. It is primarily a day of rest and spiritual enrichment. The Jewish Sabbath runs from sunset Friday night to sunset Saturday night. Observant Jewish families begin the Sabbath eve with a special Friday night dinner. The woman of the house lights candles to bring in the Sabbath light; the man of the house recites a blessing over the wine. Special braided bread, challah, is shared as a symbol of the double portions of manna in the desert. The rituals help to set a different tone for the day of rest, as do commandments against working, handling money, traveling except by foot, lighting a fire, cooking and the like. The next morning Shabbat services begin around nine a.m., and continue until about noon. After services, the family says kiddush again and has another leisurely, festive meal. The family studies Torah for a while, talks, takes an afternoon walk, plays some checkers, or engages in other leisure activities. It is traditional to have a third meal ... more

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Exegesis Of Rev. 1:1-20

Revelation as a whole is often viewed as a very hard book to understand. However, if taken in small sections and really studied closely, the meaning of the text can come through. The first step to understand the book is to understand when it was written and the occasion and purpose for which it was written.
Revelation was written at a point when Christians were under great persecution by Rome. Most scholars believe it was written somewhere around A.D. 95 by the apostle John. The book was written to encourage the new Christians at the seven churches to hold fast and not give in the emperor worship that was beginning to be enforced. John had already been exiled to the island of Patmos (1:9) and others were coming under great persecution. John writes this letter to encourage the believers that Christs return is imminent and that they should not be dispirited by the persecution they are going through now. Instead, he echoes Matthew 5:10, that Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
There are many interesting things about Revelation 1. The first verse itself is somewhat interesting. It reads, The revelation of Jesus Christ This is intriguing in that were not quite sure what is meant by a revelation of Jesus. The Greek word for revelation is apokalupsis, which means used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all. (Strongs Concordance) The strange thing about the use of this word is that in the context of the verse, it is not made clear whether John means that it is a revelation of Jesus Christ, or about Jesus Christ, or both.
As we move on in the chapter, we come to verse 3, where it is written, Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy... This verse is worthy of note because of it is the first beatitude of the seven that are contained in Revelation. By saying that the person who reads this book is blessed, John is saying that the reader is much more than happy, but he is favored by God. As the verse continues, we read that the time is near. This is a reference to Christs return and the judgment that will come with it. This is a theme that is echoed by almost all of the New Testament, as in James 5:9, which says, The Judge is standing at the door!
Revelation 1:4 provides yet another intriguing aspect of the book in general. John, to the seven churches in the province of Asiafrom the seven spirits before his throne. This demonstrates one of the distinctive features of Revelation, the repetitive use of the number seven. In totality, it is used 52 times throughout the entire book. There are seven churches (1:4), seven spirits (1:4), seven golden lampstands (1:12), seven stars (1:16), and many others.
Verse 1:7 produces a bit of a conundrum. It states, all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. Jesus is of course the him being referred to here. However, the problem at first glance is that all people will mourn. Christians believe that Christs second coming will be a time of great celebration and a time eagerly awaited. Yet this verse says that it will be a time of mourning. Upon closer inspection however, and good cross-referencing, we find that it does not mean we will mourn him coming. Instead, it can mean one of two things. First of all, it could mean that all humanity will mourn what was done to Jesus on the cross. Secondly, there could be a limitation on all. In Revelation 13:8 it says, And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life. This states that all means all who are not saved. This could also be what 1:7 means when it says all, instead of meaning all people on earth.
Eventually, we come to find out how John had this revelation. It says that On the Lords Day I was in the Spirit (1:10) This terminology is somewhat interesting. As ... more

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