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Archaeological Discovery: Evidence of Olives Consumed in Israel over 5,000 Years Ago

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Almost every pantry has bottles of olive oil because it is monounsaturated and the most healthful type of oil available. Its popularity in the Middle East, however, is far from being new. Now, the earliest evidence – from about 6,600 years ago – for the production of olives for table food and not only for oil has been discovered by Israeli archaeologists at a site that is now underwater off the southern coast of Haifa. Throughout the Mediterranean basin, the olive tree is considered an emblematic and economically important species. To identify the use of the olive pits – most of them intact – that were found, a study was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of archaeologists and botanists from 11 research institutions in Israel and abroad.

The evidence was found at the flooded Chalcolithic site called Carmel Forging. The Israeli-led researchers have just published their study in the prestigious journal Scientific Reports under the title “Early production of table olives at a mid‑7th millennium BP submerged site off the Carmel coast,” which is called that because it is located in front of the plant of the same name. The olive pit remains were located from the shoreline to about 120 meters into the Mediterranean and to a depth of up to four meters below sea level.

It is estimated that about 6,600 years ago, the sea level was about three to four meters lower, and the shoreline was about 200 to 300 meters away from its current location, so the site is located near the ancient shoreline. No evidence of dwellings was found at the site, as these are 1.5-meter-round round installations, built of composite stones, which the researchers estimate were used as wells or storage pits. During the underwater surveys, researchers found two oval stone structures with thousands of water-saturated olive pits, most of them intact.

The archaeologists come from the University of Haifa, Tel Aviv University (TAU), the Volcani Institute, and other research institutions. Their discovery predates the ancient evidence that was known until now about the production of edible olives by about 4,000 years. “The latest discovery completes for us the sequence of use of olive wood, from the use of this wood for heating, through the production of oil about 7,000 years ago to our findings, in which olive was used for food,” said lead researcher Dr. Ehud Galili of the Zinman Institute of Archeology at the University of Haifa.

The olive is a basic ingredient in the human diet, culinary culture and Mediterranean economy. Archaeological finds and written documents indicate the widespread use of olive oil for food, lighting, worship, hygiene and cosmetics in ancient times, but the date of the beginning of the consumption of edible olives remains a mystery. “Historical documents attribute the beginning of the consumption of edible olives in Europe to the middle of the first millennium BCE and in Egypt to the classical period, after the conquest of Alexander the Great – so the evidence so far is from the first half of the first millennium CE,” said Dr. Liora Kolska Horwitz of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“As soon as we found the pits, we saw that they were different from crushed pits from which olive oil was produced,” said TAU’s Dr. Dafna Langgut. “The the ones we found were intact.” They compared the olive pits with those found by Galili in another underwater site off elsewhere off the Haifa coast several years ago.

In 2014, an archaeological team headed by Galili and Dr. Deborah Cvikel, found a well belonging to a Neolithic village at a site known as Kfar Samir. It was exceptional because unlike most archaeological sites in Israel, the village is about 200 meters (218 yards) offshore and located about 16 feet underwater. The site was older – between 7,000 and 7,500 years old – than Carmel Forging site and about 1,800 meters away.

The remains discovered at Samir were crushed olive pits, along with olive peels and were identified as waste of olive time production and included pollen grains from olive trees; no such powder was found in the facilities now found at the Carmel Forging site.

Another characteristic that tipped the scales in favor of the determination that the facilities were intended for the production of edible olives was the proximity to the beach. The Carmel Forging site was, as mentioned, close to the beach. The proximity to the beach does not allow storage of olives due to the high humidity that causes mold to form in a short time, so, according to the researchers, it does not make sense that the facilities were used to store fresh olives.

But the proximity to the sea could provide access to essential ingredients for the process of pickling olives, such as seawater and sea salt. During the study, the researchers conducted a controlled experiment in the Food Research Laboratory at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and succeeded in pickling olives in seawater. “The pickling of the olives in the discovered facilities could have been done only after repeated rinsing in seawater to relieve the bitterness and then soaking in seawater,” said Prof. Ayelet Fishman of the Technion.

”We did not find any residential buildings at the forging sites of Carmel and Kfar Samir,” concluded Galili, “but we did find wells, round installations, filters made of twigs and now the olive production facilities. It is possible that these sites were a kind of ‘industrial area’ of the Carmelite inhabitants, who started producing olive oil about 7,000 years ago and edible olives about 6,600 years ago.”
Sources:breaking Christian News

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Do Christians Really Donate More? Bible’s Stunning Impact on Charitable Giving Revealed in Fascinating New Study

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As the debate over the impact of Christianity on charitable behavior forges on, a new study reveals Scripturally-engaged Americans are “far more likely than others to donate to charity.”

In fact, the majority of these individuals — people who interact consistently with Scripture and allow it to shape their lives and relationships — report giving to such causes, according to the eighth chapter of “The State of the Bible” report.

“Americans who are engaged with the Bible gave $145 billion to charitable causes in 2021,” a statement from the American Bible Society read. “And … Practicing Christians, those who are actively living out their faith, are much more likely to give.”

The results are pretty stunning when comparing people engaged in the Bible with those who are disengaged as well as the so-called Moveable Middle, a group falling between those dynamics.

Bible-engaged Americans gave a total of $145 billion to charities in 2021, amounting to about $2,907 per household. The same figure for the Bible disengaged was just $924.

To underscore the monumental nature of that giving, consider that Scripturally engaged Americans account for just 19% of adults yet give 44% of every dollar donated.

The finer details point to the fascinating nature of this group’s generosity.

“People who are Scripture-engaged gave six-times as much to churches as those in the Movable Middle and 13-times as much as those who are Bible-disengaged,” a statement explained. “When it comes to non-church giving, Scripture-engaged Americans gave 9% more than the Bible-disengaged and 165% more than the Movable Middle.”

Giving among active believers is, thus, much higher than for other cohorts.

Dr. John Farquhar Plake, director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society, said his organization’s research continues to show “a strong correlation between charitable giving and human flourishing.” This is particularly relevant among Christians surveyed in the annual report.

“Engaging with the Bible and actively living out our faith doesn’t simply mean reading the words in the pages of Scripture — rather, it is a transformation of the heart that inspires us to love and live well,” Plake said.

The results for this chapter of the “State of the Bible” were collected from 2,598 phone and online responses from American adults in January 2022.

Atheists will often decry the Bible and its contents, yet study after study shows the strong benefits faith offers individuals and, in turn, the culture at large.

As Faithwire reported, an earlier chapter from the “State of the Bible” report showed “Americans who consistently read and apply the Bible report greater levels of hope and resilience.” Read more about the Bible’s significant impact on the faithful here.
Sources:faithwire

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PASTOR JACOB MATHEW – 57 MEMORIAL SERVICE 12/02/2022

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For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel,and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We walk by faith, and not by sight! Pastor Jacob Mathew (57 ) has been promoted to his eternal home and went to be with Jesus on 11/24/2022 . He served as the assistant Pastor of the Mizpah Church of God. Pullad. He lived a life that exampled Jesus Christ, a life of servitude,faith,and love. He will be missed by his family, his wife Shiney,daughter Jesna Jacob and son Joel Jacob.

We kindly request for prayers at this time for the family. He is Survived by his mother, Thankamma Mathew, sister Mary Mathew, and brother Paul Mathew and family.


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Christian Organization Wins Legal Battle, Will Be Allowed to Hire Christians

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Just two months after the Wyoming Rescue Mission filed its federal lawsuit against state and federal agencies for threatening to punish the Christian nonprofit for hiring employees who share the ministry’s religious beliefs, attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) announced they reached a favorable settlement in the case.

As part of the settlement, state officials acknowledged that the rescue mission, as a religious organization, is free to hire like-minded employees who share the ministry’s religious beliefs and mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through its homeless shelter, clothing voucher service, faith-based recovery programs, and life-rebuilding assistance to Casper residents.

“The First Amendment protects Wyoming Rescue Mission’s freedom to hire those who share its beliefs without being threatened and investigated by the government,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jacob Reed. “We’re pleased to favorably settle this case for the rescue mission so it can continue its critical work of serving some of Casper’s most vulnerable citizens and spreading the Gospel.”

On behalf of the faith-based organization, ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit, Wyoming Rescue Mission v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in the US District Court for the District of Wyoming.

According to court documents, the mission requires all employees to agree with its religious beliefs. Before being forced to remove it, the mission’s “Career Opportunities” webpage explicitly stated that “Employees are expected to commit to the precepts in our Statement of Faith, and to help the Mission fulfill its mission statement, vision statement, and ends statement.”

And the Mission’s employment application says: “The Mission considers every position one of ministry and a vital and valued part of our team. Therefore, it is essential that all employees of the Mission have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and subscribe to our Statement of Faith and Ministry Principles. Employees must be willing to lead and/or participate in Bible study, prayer, devotions, and sharing the Gospel.”

As CBN News reported, in 2020, the mission decided not to hire a self-proclaimed non-Christian for one of its Rescued Treasures Thrift Store associate positions. Included with this job is the responsibility of teaching the mission’s Discipleship Recovery Program guests how to spread the gospel and model Jesus Christ.

The lawsuit explains that the mission advised the applicant during the pre-screen interview that it is a Christian ministry and that all employees must agree with the Mission’s statement of faith and demonstrate Christian principles in their life and work as a condition of employment. The applicant responded that she did not have any faith.

The non-Christian applicant then filed a discrimination charge against the mission with Wyoming’s Department of Workforce Services and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to Decision Magazine.

State officials conducted a 16-month-long investigation to determine if the mission engaged in discrimination as prohibited by law.

The officials determined the mission likely violated the Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act of 1965 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for refusing to hire the non-Christian applicant, ignoring the fact that neither of those laws applies to faith-based organizations’ religiously based employment decisions.

After ADF attorneys filed suit, the government capitulated and agreed the mission can hire only “those individuals who agree with and live out the mission’s religious beliefs and practices.”

“Like-minded employees who share the mission’s purpose to spread the Gospel and uplift the Casper community by providing free meals, shelter, recovery programs, and job training are essential for the Wyoming Rescue Mission to continue its important work,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Tucker, director of the ADF Center for Christian Ministries. “Wyoming officials have rightly recognized that both state and federal laws protect religious organizations’ ability to hire those who share their beliefs.”

As part of the settlement in Wyoming Rescue Mission v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) agreed to pay the rescue mission’s attorneys’ fees. In light of the settlement, the court dismissed the EEOC from the case and signed a consent decree settling the case with the state.

A press release from the ADF revealed that in 2021, the mission served 60,862 free meals to the public; provided 41,037 beds for men, women, and children; enrolled 92 Discipleship Recovery Program participants; offered 5,597 case management sessions, and gave 1,208 thrift store vouchers worth $39,649.92 that provided free clothing and essentials to families and guests in need.

John G. Knepper, one of more than 4,600 attorneys in the ADF Attorney Network, served as local counsel for the Wyoming Rescue Mission.
Sources:BREAKING CHRISTIAN NEWS

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