During the Roman era, tax collectors and the manner in which taxes were collected evolved and varied from one region to the next. Here we offer a general picture of the process that will allow us to appreciate the role tax collectors played in the Gospels. Taxes were paid to both the temple and the state, each of which established its own tax code without consideration of the other. First-century Jews paid a religious tithe of their produce, herd, and flock (Lev 27:30-32); they were also required to pay the half-shekel or two-drachma tax for sanctuary upkeep (Exod 30:13; Matt 17:24). The state demanded taxes that included a poll tax levied on males fourteen to sixty-five years of age and females twelve to sixty-five, real estate tax, customs tax collected at road and harbor stations, a tax on produce that amounted to 10 percent on grain and 20 percent on wine, fruit, and oil, a 1 percent income tax, and sales and inheritance taxes.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TAX COLLECTOR PT1)
Noah’s ark was a little longer than a football field (end zones included) and half as wide. Surprisingly, the space inside the ark equaled the storage space of about 370 railroad boxcars.
Ark dimensions: 150 yards long, 25 yards wide, and 15 yards high. A typical cruise ship today would dwarf it, since the ark was only about half the size.Continue reading LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT (HOW BIG WAS THE ARK)
By the time Sarah was seventy-six years old, she felt certain she would never give Abraham a child. “Go and sleep with my servant,” she told him. “Perhaps I can have children through her” (Genesis 16:2). Abraham slept with Hagar, and Ishmael was born.Continue reading LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT (SURROGATE MOTHER, ANCIENT STYLE)
Though his name bears the Hebrew word for peace, Absalom was anything but peaceful. He murdered his half brother and led a coup against his father King David.Continue reading ABSALOM
Hebrews 11 is known as the “faith chapter” of the Bible it contains a list of several heroes of the Old Testament who were known for their great faith. Number three on this list is Noah, who, “being divinely warned of things no yet seen, [and] moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7 NKJV).Continue reading NOAH AND THE FLOOD (GENESIS 6 – 9)
Temples built for polytheistic worship; many pagan temples predated Solomon’s temple and some had similar designs. The earliest excavated temples from the Chalcolithic Period (4600-3300 B.C.), such as those uncovered at Eln Gedi in 1961 and Eshtaol in 2013, illustrate the ubiquitous nature of pagan worship in Canaan prior to the arrival of Abram (Gen 12:5). The culticsite at Eshtaol contained a standing stone, 1.3 meters in height, smoothed on all sides and erected facing east. The standing stone could be used as a monument but often representedContinue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (PAGAN TEMPLES)