Tim Truzy is a minister in a Christian church, and he has participated in other religions.
The Value of Exploring Biblical Texts
The Bible is rich with stories concerning the people of the nation of Israel which have influenced cultures around the planet. These tales have immeasurable value for those participating in several religions. Divided into the New and Old Testaments, the Bible provides guidance in how to worship the Judeo-Christian God. However, the text forming the current Bible has been changed over time. The left out writings form the Apocrypha.
Since the Holy Book is essential for spiritual development in several religions, insight can be gathered from multiple sources through the utilization of different approaches. Some individuals may be seeking to establish a firmer spiritual foundation. By contrast, others may prefer to view what is written as undisputable, refusing to conduct any research. After all, one’s relationship with God is personal, and human beings must decide on the level of information they require for spiritual growth. Nevertheless, the books of the Bible were canonized by a single group, suggesting bias may exist. But various Christian denominations still use some of the omitted apocryphal texts.
Three Biblical Stories about Unusual People and Their Importance
As an ordained Christian minister, I encourage my congregation to read and investigate biblical topics which interest them. This is because Christianity is a participatory religion in which a person must work on his/her spiritual journey. For this reason, I am always involved in research to help those who want further knowledge about a subject. Below I’ve provided information about three biblical topics. They are:
- St. Longinus: This was a Roman soldier who played a pivotal role in the Crucifixion of Christ. He lived and died in the first century. He is referred to in the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus in the appendix known as the Acts of Pilate. He is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, and seen as a martyr by the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
- Simon Magnus: This man was a contemporary of Christ and the apostles during the first century. Debate continues among scholars to whether this biblical figure is the founder of Gnosticism. However, his name appears in biblical and Roman documents.
- Tribe of Dan: This is one of the more mysterious groups of the nation of Israel. The tribe provided substantial military support for the Jewish nation as they conquered Canaan. But the Tribe of Dan split from the nation of Israel and was exiled after invasions from enemies of the Jewish state around 950 B.C. The members of the Tribe of Dan were known as skillful sailors.
1. The Story of the Tribe of Dan
The Tribe of Dan is first mentioned in Genesis along with the other eleven tribes making up the nation of Israel. They were to be the “judges” of the Jewish state. In fact, the Book of Judges in the Old Testament features individuals from the Tribe of Dan, such as Sampson. Joshua, another important biblical figure, is also from this tribe. Christ was betrayed by a member of the Tribe of Dan in Judas.
Instrumental for various tasks for Israel in biblical texts, the Tribe of Dan is not found in the Book of Revelation with the other descendants of the Jewish nation. Scholars speculate the tribe is absent from the Book of Revelation because of the practice of idolatry. Others suggest the anti-Christ will emerge from the Tribe of Dan during the end of time.
Coincidentally, this story has important spiritual implications. Primarily, God has a plan for all of us. To such a degree, descendants of the Tribe of Dan are believed to be all over the world, from Ethiopia to northern Europe. In essence, we may roam the globe; but what He has set in motion for us will occur.
2. The Story of Simon Magnus
A great battle occurs between Simon Magnus and the Apostle Peter as recorded in Acts 8:9-24. Apparently, Simon Magnus, also called Simon the Sorcerer, felt he should lead the church after the death of Christ. He summoned demons to aid him in his confrontation with Peter on the Road to Damascus. Peter won the contest, causing Simon to fall out of the air, and scattering the demons. The sorcerer was mortally wounded during the conflict, but his name lives on.
Without question, we can benefit from the lessons this story teaches. For example, everyone is not meant to lead. Also, we can’t purchase influence with God. The activities Simon engages in were detrimental to the church, and we have the term “The act of simony,” derived from his name as a reminder to follow God’s Will. Finally, Simon the Sorcerer, descended from the Tribe of Dan, conspired with the dark forces to overcome the light. That is always a losing approach for anyone.
3. The Story of St. Longinus
Longinus is the name given to the soldier who pierced Jesus Christ in the side with a spear at the Crucifixion. Later additions to the story suggest the blood of Jesus Christ dripped from the spear, curing the Roman soldier of a visual impairment. In the tale, Longinus also is noted as cleaning the wounds of Christ after he was taken down from the cross. The centurion became a Christian, carrying the Word of God to Cappadocia. Eventually, Roman soldiers were dispatched to kill him. Longinus was decapitated; his head was sent to Pontius Pilot, the Roman governor of Judea.
This story is significant for a number of reasons. Currently, various Christian denominations have celebrations recognizing the disputable acts of Longinus. In addition, the story of the Roman centurion indicates people can change after exposure to the teachings of Christ, performing incredible deeds accompanied by faith. In other words, Christians may have to suffer for their faith, but their rewards in Heaven and on Earth can be greater than the pain endured.
Bartusch, M. W. (2003). Understanding Dan: An exegetical study of a Biblical city, tribe and ancestor. London: Sheffield Acad. Press.
Mead, G. R. (1999). Simon Magus: An essay on the founder of Simonianism based on the ancient sources with a re-evaluation of his philosophy and teachings. Montana, U.S.A.: Kessinger Pub.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 30, 2019:
Many consider the Bible a source of religious guidance, but it is also a historical document which can help researchers. I read recently how in east Asia they have found what would be considered giants among skeletons of ancient people. Similar bones have been found elsewhere. Some believe these skeletons may be related to the Tribe of Dan. Maybe. Or maybe there were some great NBA players even in those days. lol.Thanks for the visit.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 26, 2019:
Thank you, Brother Sean. I try to follow His teachings because a person who comes to Him willingly is a more devoted soul. Happy Easter to you in Greece as well. - Respectfully, Tim
Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on April 26, 2019:
My dear Brother, Tim, one of the things I admire in your writings is that you show a path, but you let to the reader the freedom to walk the way as far as he wants! That's an attribute of a real teacher, and you are a fine one!
The Bible is a miracle because at first, you can see it as a well of knowledge, but as you are going deeper you realize that is an Endless Ocean connected with so many other sources! Your article is a profound example of this. Thank you for another great work.
Search for the Truth, and the Truth will free you!
Love from Greece celebrating the Orthodox Easter!
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 22, 2019:
Thank you, Ms. Dora, you are right. Christ does forgive and makes the smallest into something great in His eyes. Thanks for your kind comment. Respectfully, Tim
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 21, 2019:
True the information you share is not included in the Bible as we know it, but they shed light on information that we do have. The incident of Jesus' blood dripping and curing the soldier on which it fell is so in keeping with Christ's willingness to forgive and restore. Thanks for a good, insightful read.
Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 21, 2019:
I wrote this article after talking with members of my church who were curious about the apocrypha texts. Although some see no value in those documents, they can be studied for historic value and interesting stories can be found within their pages. Reading the Books of the apocrypha combined with the other books in the Bible can be useful for helping others. Thanks for reading.