Has The Bible Been Changed?

Muslims and Christians alike carry strong convictions regarding their holy books. Muslims believe the Qur’an was revealed to them by God without error, and that it has not been changed over time by humans. It has been protected by God for the preserving and spreading of the Muslim faith throughout the future. Christians hold these same convictions to be true of their message of God, the Bible.

The Bible was written over a period of 1600 years. The first five books of the Bible are referred to as the Torah, and were written by Moses around 1500 B.C. These books provide the record of God’s creation and an outline of the history of man in relation to God. Moses includes in the Torah a record of man’s great achievements, as well as his failures — including his sinful nature and his obedience to God’s laws of worship and conduct. After the books of the Torah, the Bible continues on to discuss man’s contributions throughout the ages following the descendants of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and David. David composed the majority of the Psalms (Zabur). Many of the books speak of future events — some which were fulfilled during the lives of the writers, others which were fulfilled during the life of Jesus, and still others which have yet to be fulfilled.
The section given to the Jews (or Hebrew people) which they refer to as the Scriptures is also the section Christians refer to as the Old Testament. This section was completed 400 years before Jesus was born, and was carefully copied with extreme caution to avoid the entry of any mistakes. Any copies containing errors were carefully destroyed. Because the papyrus copies tended to deteriorate, the Old Testament continued to be recopied to avoid misunderstanding.
The second section of the Bible, called the New Testament, was written immediately following the time of Jesus. He died around A.D. 33, and the writing began between A.D. 45 and A.D. 55 and continued until around A.D. 90. All writing of the New Testament was done by eyewitnesses and contemporaries of Jesus. The New Testament is composed of 27 books, which are similar to chapters or Surahs.
The first four books are about the life of Jesus, beginning with his birth in Bethlehem, and include his genealogies for both Mary, his mother, and Joseph (or Bushara), Mary’s husband. This part of the Bible is referred to by Christians as the Gospels or good news (Injil). They were written in Greek, the written language of the Roman Empire in that day.
References within the Bible give these New Testament writings the same status as Scripture, making them equal with the Old Testament and also part of God’s Holy inspired Word. Although the Bible was written through many different Old Testament prophets and New Testament writers over a period of 1600 years, it is entirely consistent in its teachings.
The New Testament circulated throughout the Middle East and southern Europe as individual books and as a collection of books. Again, great care was taken for errorless copying. Before A.D. 300, the Old Testament and the New Testament were assembled into one book, two copies of which are preserved in the two complete manuscripts that we have today, known as the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. These manuscripts are written in Greek and compare identically with the thousands of portions available of even older manuscripts. The translations that we have today (in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Chinese, Swahili, Russian or any of more than 2,000 languages) must come directly from these ancient Greek manuscripts — not from translations of translations — in order to be considered accurate. Just as with a Xerox copy, the quality of the duplicate decreases when you make a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy. The clearest copies come from the original or a near original. The same is true when making translations of important statements.

Muhammed lived at the beginning of the 7th century. The Christian Bible as a unit was in wide circulation at this time (though it wasn’t translated into Arabic until around A.D. 900).
Mohammed’s first revelation of a portion of the Qur’an was in A.D. 610. He continued to receive additional revelations over the next 20 years. Some portions were written down on bleached camel bones, stones, palm leaves, as well as other available materials. It was not until after Mohammed’s death that all the various parts were gathered together into one volume. This would be in about A.D. 634.
These documents were collected by Zayd, Mohammed’s secretary, as a commission by the successor to Muhammed, Caliph (ruler) Abu Bakr. He brought together the written portions into one volume with the consent of close friends of Muhammed, who had memorized all or portions of his writings. This gave human approval to the document. This copy assembled by Zayd was recorded without dots and vowels, which made some words vague as to their meaning. All other previous documents were burned. Later, there was some controversy over this text, and so the Caliph Uthman ordered Zayd and Haphzah and four others who knew the Qur’an by memory to make an official text in A.D. 653. This official text was circulated widely, and all other copies, even Zayd’s original, were burned. This official text is known as the Uthmanic Qur’an.
What does the Qur’an reveal as Muhammed’s belief about the Bible? Throughout the Qur’an, the prophet Muhammed insists that not only the Qur’an but also the Injil (Gospels), the Torah (Law of Moses), and the Zabur (Psalms of David) are the authentic Word of God, given by God Almighty Himself. The following references are a few of the many clear affirmations in the Qur’an that the prophet Muhammed accepted the inspiration and authenticity of the Bible as it existed during his day:
“He (Allah) hath revealed unto thee (Muhammed) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel” (Surah 3, Al-i-‘Imran, The Family of Imran: 3)
“Say (o Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the Prophets received from their Lord” (Surah 2, Al-Baqarah, The Cow: 136).
“Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light…And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him, and We bestowed on him the gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it is in the Torah” (Surah 5, Al-Ma’idah, The Table Spread: 44, 46).
“Lo! We inspire thee as we inspired Noah and the prophets after him, as We inspired Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and as we imparted unto David the Psalms” (Surah 4, Al-Nisa, Women: 163).
Therefore, since the prophet Muhammed speaks with such reverence about the authority of the Torah, Zabur, and Injil, as the Word of God given from heaven, what do you think he believed (and wants his followers to believe) about the Bible? Not once does the Qur’an refer to the changing of these inspired books. This makes it clear that the prophet Muhammed considered the Bible to be pure and undefiled. The Qur’an also speaks highly of the “People of the Scripture” or “People of the Book” (both Jews and Christians) “who recite the revelations of Allah” (Surah 3, Al-i-‘Imran, The Family of Imran: 113). It also commands them, “And believe in that which I reveal, confirming that which ye possess already [of the Scripture]” (Surah 2, Al-Baqarah, The Crow: 41).
This proves it is clear, that from the very beginning of Islam, the prophet Muhammed accepted the Bible as the unchanged, true Word of God. Because of his repeated instructions throughout the Qur’an to honor the “People of the Book” and their Scriptures, no Muslims after the time of Muhammed would have allowed any changes in the Bible, as the holy word of God. The existence of the manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus indicates that the Word of God has not been changed, for it is the same today as it was 300 years before the Qur’an was written.
Furthermore, the Qur’an says repeatedly that God Almighty protects His Word from change: “There is no changing the Words of Allah” (Surah 10, Jonah: 64). “And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of thy Lord. There is none who can change His words . . .” (Surah 18, Al-Kahf, The Cave: 27).
The New Testament also reveals the Bible’s claim to be the inspired Word of God. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). The Holy Spirit declares through the book of Hebrews, “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Because the entire Bible has been alive and active throughout the centuries, and continues to be today, no one has dared to change it. The fact that the Bible continues to change thousands of lives around the world in positive, tangible ways displays another clear proof of its inspiration by the Holy Spirit. God’s inspired Word is the same today as it was in the time of the Old Testament prophets and in the time of the New Testament apostles. The Bible is therefore our final authority, and we accept its teachings, commands, and promises as they relate to all of life.

Relieve back pain, eat healthy – The choice is yours

Millions of people struggle through the agony of back pain every day. Many turn to pain relievers and other medicines to achieve relief so they can get through their day by day lives. What most do not realize is a few small changes to their daily schedule that can seriously improve their health and relieve this pain.

One easy change that can be made involves diet. Not only does being overweight affect your back and cause pain but what we eat can also have a massive impact. Healthy nourishment can play a big part in strengthening your back and overall physical health.

There are particular vitamins and nutrients that the human body needs to develop your muscles so they can support the spine. Without healthy eating, these muscles can deteriorate and may not perform, putting your back at risk to injury.

With the hectic life that most of us live, it is very easy to lose sight of nourishment and simply succumb to eating for convenience. Junk food is everywhere and even though it is cheap and convenient it does not supply our bodies with the correct nutrient elements that it needs to function properly.

The majority of these foods contain a lot of unhealthy carbohydrates which may cause a spike in blood sugar giving you a short burst of energy but leaving you hungry later on. Muscles need foods that will supply them with energy slowly and consistently over a period of time.

This is going to help the muscles perform correctly and you will be aware of the difference in everything from concentration to posture which can significantly increase the health of your back. Your diet should be high in complex carbohydrates and proteins.

Foods that are vital to make a regular part of your diet are fresh fruits and vegetables. Every type of nuts and legumes can help in promoting a healthy back. Other foods like Alaskan salmon, ginger, olive oil, and lean poultry are foods that work as an anti-inflammatory.

Another study indicates that cherries can also help to relive muscle pain and strain. The most important part of a good diet is to eat sensible foods at frequent intervals during the day. By eating smaller meals regularly, you can eliminate hunger fits which will help you make better choices and avoid the drive thru.

Crucial foods that you should limit in your diet are sugar, white bread, snacks, processed foods, fries and all kinds of fast foods. These foods could cause inflammation in the body. Other items like soda, caffeine and alcohol should only be consumed occasionally.

Having a majority of your diet composed from healthy whole foods can decrease inflammation through your body and help set you on your way to a health back. By making one or two changes in your diet and consistently selecting the proper foods you can help to improve the health of your back and overall physical condition. This could assist in alleviating agony and limit the pain relievers and other medications you want to take all though your day.


Anti-Anxiety Circuit in Brain Region Considered the Seat of Fear, Scientists Discover.

Stimulation of a distinct brain circuit that lies within a brain structure typically associated with fearfulness produces the opposite effect: Its activity, instead of triggering or increasing anxiety, counters it.

That’s the finding in a paper by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers to be published online March 9 in Nature. In the study, Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, and his colleagues employed a mouse model to show that stimulating activity exclusively in this circuit enhances animals’ willingness to take risks, while inhibiting its activity renders them more risk-averse. This discovery could lead to new treatments for anxiety disorders, said Deisseroth, an associate professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral science.

The investigators were able to pinpoint this particular circuit only by working with a state-of-the-art technology called optogenetics, pioneered by Deisseroth at Stanford, which allows brain scientists to tease apart the complex circuits that compose the brain so these can be studied one by one.

“Anxiety is a poorly understood but common psychiatric disease,” said Deisseroth, who is also a practicing psychiatrist. More than one in four people, in the course of their lives, experience bouts of anxiety symptoms sufficiently enduring and intense to be classified as a full-blown psychiatric disorder. In addition, anxiety is a significant contributing factor in other major psychiatric disorders from depression to alcohol dependence, Deisseroth said.

Most current anti-anxiety medications work by suppressing activity in the brain circuitry that generates anxiety or increases anxiety levels. Many of these drugs are not very effective, and those that are have significant side effects such as addiction or respiratory suppression, Deisseroth said. “The discovery of a novel circuit whose action is to reduce anxiety, rather than increase it, could point to an entire strategy of anti-anxiety treatment,” he added.

Ironically, the anti-anxiety circuit is nestled within a brain structure, the amygdala, long known to be associated with fear. Generally, stimulating nervous activity in the amygdala is best known to heighten anxiety. So the anti-anxiety circuit probably would have been difficult if not impossible to locate had it not been for optogenetics, a new technology in which nerve cells in living animals are rendered photosensitive so that action in these cells can be turned on or off by different wavelengths of light. The technique allows researchers to selectively photosensitize particular sets of nerve cells. Moreover, by delivering pulses of light via optical fibers to specific brain areas, scientists can target not only particular nerve-cell types but also particular cell-to-cell connections or nervous pathways leading from one brain region to another. The fiber-optic hookup is both flexible and pain-free, so experimental animals’ actual behavior as well as their brain activity can be monitored.

In contrast, older research approaches involve probing brain areas with electrodes to stimulate nerve cell firing. But an electrode stimulates not only all the nerve cells that happen to be in the neighborhood but even fibers that are just passing through on the way to somewhere else. Thus, any effect from stimulating the newly discovered anti-anxiety circuit would have been swamped by the anxiety-increasing effects of the dominant surrounding circuitry.

In December 2010, the journal Nature Methods bestowed its “Method of the Year” title on optogenetics.

In the new Nature study, the researchers photosensitized a set of fibers projecting from cells in one nervous “switchboard” to another one within the amygdala. By carefully positioning their light-delivery system, they were able to selectively target this projection, so that it alone was activated when light was pulsed into the mice’s brains. Doing so led instantaneously to dramatic changes in the animals’ behavior.

“The mice suddenly became much more comfortable in situations they would ordinarily perceive as dangerous and, therefore, be quite anxious in,” said Deisseroth. For example, rodents ordinarily try to avoid wide-open spaces such as fields, because such places leave them exposed to predators. But in a standard setup simulating both open and covered areas, the mice’s willingness to explore the open areas increased profoundly as soon as light was pulsed into the novel brain circuit. Pulsing that same circuit with a different, inhibitory frequency of light produced the opposite result: the mice instantly became more anxious. “They just hunkered down” in the relatively secluded areas of the test scenario, Deisseroth said.

Standard laboratory gauges of electrical activity in specific areas of the mice’s amygdalas confirmed that the novel circuit’s activation tracked the animals’ increased risk-taking propensity.

Deisseroth said he believes his team’s findings in mice will apply to humans as well. “We know that the amygdala is structured similarly in mice and humans,” he said. And just over a year ago a Stanford team led by Deisseroth’s associate, Amit Etkin, MD, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, used functional imaging techniques to show that human beings suffering from generalized anxiety disorder had altered connectivity in the same brain regions within the amygdala that Deisseroth’s group has implicated optogenetically in mice.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Science Foundation, NARSAD, a Samsung Scholarship, and the McKnight, Woo, Snyder, and Yu foundations. Kay Tye, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the Deisseroth laboratory, and Rohit Prakash, Sung-Yon Kim and Lief Fenno, all graduate students in that lab, shared first authorship. Other co-authors are graduate student Logan Grosenick, undergraduate student Hosniya Zarabi, postdoctoral researcher Kimberly Thompson, PhD, and research associates Viviana Gradinaru and Charu Ramakrishnan, all of the Deisseroth lab.

 

Impacts Of Nuclear Disaster Over The World

1.How long will the radiation be in the reactor area after it is finally contained? Will the radiation spread across the globe via air or sea?

Any releases of radioactivity would tend to be carried to the east across the Pacific, although day-to-day weather could spread it over considerable parts of Japan. Scientists are already forecasting the path of long-range transport through the atmosphere, as they have long practiced in order to track releases from nuclear testing and major accidents. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in the Soviet Union sent radioactive dust particles hundreds and even thousands of kilometers away, with health effects occurring close in. The breadth of the Pacific would seem to be sufficient protection from detectable health effects.

2. Would it be possible to build underground emergency tsunami shelters that would be insulated from the earthquakes that would surely precede the wave?

This is technically possible but probably not a good idea. It would be psychologically difficult to persuade people to go underground to avoid a tsunami. Debris could pile up around or on top of any entrance. And, as in this case, coastal areas hit by a tsunami can remain flooded for several days, a situation aggravated in some areas by ground subsidence.

3.  What is the probability of a magnitude-7 or higher aftershock in Japan? Could the Japan quake lead to other quakes across the globe? Are we having more earthquakes than before? Why are we seeing such a dramatic increase in seismic activity globally?

From past quakes, an estimate of the likely largest aftershock can be made. A magnitude 7—far, far smaller than a 9—sounds reasonably likely. In recent years, seismologists have realized that the biggest quakes can trigger more quakes thousands of kilometers away, but these are typically small and often located at hot springs or volcanic areas already prone to small quakes. Global seismicity has not been going up in the long term; high-profile events like Haiti and Japan make it look as if it is. Quakes can trigger eruptions from nearby volcanoes; nothing from this one so far.

Globally, seismic energy has been released over the years at a fairly constant rate, with the inevitable random fluctuations. Part of the reason we have a sense of greater seismic activity is the notoriety of recent quakes. Haiti was not a big deal seismically speaking, but because of its location, it killed hundreds of thousands and captured world attention. There is a record of quakes in historical and geologic times preserved in sediments on faults or deposited by tsunamis, but it is not complete enough to address global seismicity trends.

4 .Although the safety of the people of Japan is our main priority, what ramifications has the catastrophe in Japan had on wildlife? Especially due to the numerous cars and debris polluting the waters, are there certain Japan-exclusive or endangered species of plants or animals that could see a collapse in population, possibly extinction?

Scientist M. Sanjayan of The Nature Conservancy in Arlington, Virginia, says that the tsunami’s biggest impact on wildlife will be on coastal birds nesting on small islands rather than on the Japanese mainland where they could easily fly away. Indeed, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reporting that tens of thousands of birds were buried alive by the waves. (The famed Midway Atoll albatrosses will survive as a species, although their numbers took a beating.) The fate of some other endangered species, such as monk seals, is currently unknown. But although many large mammal casualties will certainly be seen, Sanjayan guesses that most of them were able to ride the waves out with minimal fatalities.

Impacts on wildlife from pollution and radiation leaks are a separate issue, however, and one that is continuing to unfold. Sanjayan says that while species will certainly be harmed by this pollution in the short term, history from Chernobyl and the Bikini Atoll shows that once an area is placed off-limits to human activity, wildlife has a way of rebounding within a few decades.

5. What is the highest intensity of radiation measured so far? What affect will the radiation have on the people of Japan? How many people could it kill?
Keep in mind that news outlets have been reporting the levels in two units: millisieverts (mSv), which is one thousandth of a sievert, and microsieverts (μSv), which is one millionth of a sievert. (All numbers that have been reported are per hour.) So if you’ve been seeing numbers in the thousands, check the units. 3000 μSv/h is equal to 3 mSv/h—equivalent to about 300 chest x-rays, or one head CT scan—which levels at the plant gates have reached at times during this disaster. This New York Times graphic shows how radiation levels around the plant have changed over the past few days with the various explosions that have occurred. The Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum, a nongovernmental organization for nuclear energy, is publishing several updates a day on the plant’s status. The most recent update reiterates that levels peaked at 400 mSv next to unit 3 on Tuesday.

The people most at risk from radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant are the workers trying to keep things under control. That’s because the effect on one’s health depends on how near one is to the radioactive sources at the power plant and how long one stays there. Peak radiation levels at the plant were around 400 mSv per hour right in the thick of things, between reactors 2 and 3. According to Peter Burns, former chief executive officer of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, the limit recommended by the international community for workers dealing with accidents is 100 mSv—so a worker would reach the limit in just 15 minutes. While health effects may not be immediate, that person would also have an increased risk of developing cancer later in life.

Limiting workers’ exposure is extremely important; if exposed to that peak radiation for 2½ hours (1000 mSv total dose) a person would start to feel sick. If the person stayed there for 15 hours, they would likely die within a month. But as one goes farther away from a radiation source, the dose one receives per unit time falls off exponentially, which is why the Japanese government has evacuated the area around the plant. Within the 20-kilometer perimeter that has been evacuated, levels peaked at 0.33 mSv per hour, equivalent to three chest x-rays per hour—or about 30 days worth of exposure to background radiation. If one stayed there a day, one’s total dose would be about the same as a full body CT scan.

6.Since it seems the radiation will mainly head out to sea, what will its effects be on ocean life?

Effects on marine life should be minimal if the plume is blown over the ocean. Radioactive isotopes are most dangerous when animals’ bodies absorb them, thinking they’re something else. For instance, cesium-137 mimics potassium and is absorbed by muscles, while strontium-90 mimics calcium and is taken up by bones. Since ocean water is full of potassium and calcium in the form of salts, this lowers the chance of an animal’s body taking up radioactive particles by mistake.

Furthermore, since the Pacific is so massive, radioactivity will be diluted to levels far too low to be toxic to aquatic life. A much bigger concern is the plume blowing over land and contaminating plant life or the freshwater supply, which would affect animals (including humans) further up the food chain.

UK: 3-year-old alcoholic treated in hospital

Everyone knows the towns and cities in the United Kingdom grapple with marauding gangs of drunken thugs in the evenings, and that under-age drinking has become an endemic problem in the land of Her Majesty. But a three-year-old treated in hospital for alcoholism?

The incident happened in central England, in the Midlands where it has been revealed that this is not a one-off incident, although the child is thought to be the country’s youngest alcoholic. Latest data reveals that the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust admitted over 70 children aged between thirteen and sixteen years of age for emergency treatment for conditions related to alcohol abuse, while a further 106 children in the same age group were treated for alcoholism at hospitals in Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield.

The question that arises is, where were the parents? The main point that arises is, this is not just a British disease, but seems endemic in most societies in European and North American countries.

What has happened to parenting, not just in the UK but across many cities in these countries? How many accident and emergency units in hospitals have to deal with constant streams of children being wheeled in, in alcoholic comas, being scraped off the floors of discotheques with just twelve years of age?

Where are the parents when these children are binge drinking cheap alco-pops before they leave home so they can get drunk quickly and spend less money when they go out? What has happened to our societies, in which for a start the alcohol is available to them, secondly the parents appear not to be exercising control and thirdly, young children are behaving like those in their late teens in their older peer groups?