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Curses in the Book of Deuteronomy and in Old Aramaic Inscriptions

By Laura Quick

In the Hebrew Bible, you really are “damned if you don’t.” The law code of the book of Deuteronomy is capped with a series of curses that threaten harm upon any individual that should fail to keep the Deuteronomic laws. While this method of divine encouragement to keep the commandments of God might seem surprising from a theological point of view, curses were an integral part of the legal, political and religious life of the ancient Near East, found in a variety of ancient texts including the Hebrew Bible, Neo-Assyrian treaties and Northwest Semitic inscriptions. See complete essay

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In My View - Opinion

The Council of Nicaea

By Elizabeth McNamer

Its first members were all Jewish. In the Roman Empire, all had to adhere to some religion. Atheism was not an option. Most people worshiped the Roman gods, others adhered to Greek or Egyptian religions. Romans accepted Judaism since it was well established.

For Jews, the sign of the covenant was circumcision. Followers of “the way” of Jesus were circumcised but also baptized. They were a sect within Judaism and thus protected by Roman Law. See complete essay

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