Category: religion

Lessons from Noah’s Ark

Almost everything you need to know about life, you can learn from Noah’s Ark: 1. Don’t miss the boat. 2. Remember that we are all in the same boat. 3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. 

End of world predictions

You should live every day as if it is your last. That may be easier said than done. But what if you really knew the exact day when will the world end? There have been and still are many End-of-World predictions: In the year 70, Rabbi Jose, the Galilean, predicted that the world would end […]

What Jesus looked like

The best-selling Jesus movie, Jesus of Nazareth (1977), starred the attractive blue-eyed Robert Powell. If a modern version of the movie had to be produced one can easily imagine attractive actors like Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp portraying Jesus. But what did the real Jesus look like? And what did other famous religious figures look […]

Number of churches and mosques in New York City

New York City is the most linguistically and religiously diverse city in the world. The 8.4 million inhabitants communicate in some 800 different languages across the five boroughs – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. New York is also a religious city: 83% of New Yorkers are affiliated to some organized religion. This […]

Pie in the sky

“A pie in the sky” means to search for the impossible dream, and was coined by a labor unionist. In the early 1900’s, the labor organizer Joe Hill was extremely critical of the church’s  treatment of slaves. He wrote a tune called ‘The Preacher and the Slave” accusing the clergy of making false promises of […]

Printing errors in the Bible

In a 1631 edition of the King James Bible – in Exodus 20 verse 14 – the word “not” was left out. This changed the 7th commandment to read – “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Most of the copies were recalled immediately and destroyed on the orders of Charles I. But there are 11 copies still […]

Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral

One of the greatest achievements of Edward the Confessor, who ruled England from 1042 to 1066, was the construction of Westminster Abbey. Born the son of King Ethelred the Unready and Emmaat at Islip in Oxfordshire, Edward was driven from England by the Danes and spent his exile in Normandy. The story goes that Edward […]

Decoding the Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown’s 2003 historical novel The Da Vinci Code provided some food for thought… or was it just gooyie gum with an odd taste? Take a bite! Long before Dan Brown put pen to paper the concept of Jesus having been (happily) married and “moving on” (to southern France – in Brown’s scenarios) much was […]

English translation of the Bible

In 1454 in Germany – Johannes Gutenberg printed the famous 42-line Bible – the first printed Bible in the world. Printed in Latin – it is known as the 42-line Bible because most of its pages are 42 lines long. It was printed in 3 volumes. Only 40 copies of the 42-line Bible survived. They […]

Bible distribution

The Bible has 66 books, divided into 1,189 chapters consisting of 31,173 verses. The Bible was divided into chapters by Stephen Langton at about 1228. The Old Testament was divided into verses by R. Nathan in 1448 and the New Testament by Robert Stephanus in 1551. The first printed Bible divided into verses was an […]