Questions

Superstition

Do you have a lucky number? Do you make a wish when you see a star fall or cross your fingers when you hope for something? Those are all little things that show you’re a little superstitious. But what is superstition? Believing in something supernatural that is different or derived from an existing ‘official’ belief is called superstition. All over the world people have forms of superstition that sometimes differ a lot and sometimes differ little from each other. Nearly everyone does something with it, maybe you too! Examples of superstitions Friday the 13th One of the most famous superstitions is that the number 13 is an unlucky number. Did you know that many buildings do not have a 13th floor and many hospitals do not have room 13? When the 13th falls on a Friday, it’s an unfortunate com...

Bijgeloof

Wat is bijgeloof? Heb je een geluksgetal? Doe je een wens als je een ster ziet vallen of kruis je je vingers als je op iets hoopt? Dat zijn allemaal kleine dingen die laten zien dat jij een beetje bijgelovig bent. Maar wat houdt bijgeloof in? Geloven in iets bovennatuurlijks wat anders is of sterk afwijkt van een bestaand ‘officieel’ geloof, noemt men bijgeloof. Overal op de wereld kennen mensen vormen van bijgeloof die soms veel en soms weinig van elkaar verschillen. In Nederland alleen al kennen we veel vormen van bijgeloof. Bijna iedereen doet er wel wat mee, misschien jij ook wel! Voorbeelden van bijgeloof Vrijdag de 13e Eén van de meest bekende bijgeloven is dat het getal 13 een ongeluksgetal is. Wist je dat veel gebouwen geen 13e verdieping hebben en veel ziekenhuizen geen kamer 13? ...

Jouw toekomst, wat zegt God er over?

“Jij wordt volgende week miljonair!” Goed nieuws toch? Maar wat dacht je van: “Je zal niet ouder worden dan 35 jaar.” Dat is dan toch even wat meer schrikken. Maar deze boodschap krijg je niet in het ziekenhuis maar bij een waarzegster. En wat doe je dan met deze toekomstvoorspelling? Toekomst voorspellen is iets wat al eeuwen gedaan wordt. Van een waarzegster met haar glazen bol op de kermis, tot een paragnost die online tarot kaarten leest. De manieren waarop men de toekomst voorspelt lijken eindeloos.  Culturen verschillen onderling ook in hun manieren. Zo lezen Roemeense heksen over de toekomst in tarwe korrels of je hand palm. In Rusland voorspelt men de toekomst door het druppelen van gesmolten lood, tin of bijenwas in water. Allemaal denken ze je een accurate voorspelling over ...

Did Jesus really exist? Discover the evidence 

Did Jesus really exist? That’s a very good question. Because the Bible may be full of stories, but how reliable is a 2000-year-old book? And are there any other sources that confirm its existence? Let’s start with the Bible. The New Testament is full of stories and sayings of Jesus. For clarity: Jesus did not write the Bible himself. This second part of the Bible was written by friends of Jesus or written down by later followers based on eyewitness accounts. It is important to know that the storytelling culture was very strong at the time. Stories were often remembered and passed on very accurately. Because few people could read and write, storytelling was very much part of the culture. The first parts of the New Testament were written less than 25 years after Jesus’ death. Many eyewitness...

Who is Jesus?

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Where was Jesus born? Everything about Christmas

Every year on December 25th we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas trees, presents, family gathering, Christmas Eve celebrations. But who is Jesus? Where was Jesus born? Why do we actually celebrate Christmas? Jesus is the most important figure of the Christian faith. Our era begins with its birth more than 2000 years ago. Jesus is born in Bethlehem, in the land of Israel. His mother’s name is Mary. She receives a special message from an angel that she will become pregnant with an extraordinary child. Mary will remain a virgin but God creates new life in her womb. The Son of God. Where was Jesus born? Joseph, her fiancé, is shocked when he learns that she is pregnant. They’ve never had sex, so she must have been unfaithful. In a dream God tells Joseph that he should step forward t...

What names are used to describe Jesus?

“His name is Jesus.” Joseph and Mary, as parents of this special child, were allowed to name him. Jesus means: Yahweh saves. Yahweh is a Jewish way of describing God. In other words: God saves. Right at his birth, Jesus was given a name that suited his mission. Did you know that in Central and South America it is very normal to name your child Jesus? Immanuel is also an important name given to Jesus. Immanuel means: God is with us. This name also showcases an important element of Jesus. He is a way for us to experience God up close and personal. The Bible was written by many different authors. All with their own experience and interpretation of God and of Jesus. They often all highlight their own aspect of Jesus and all give a little insight to the question: Who is Jesus? For example, ther...

Why would I believe Jesus is the Son of God?

The Bible often refers to Jesus as the Son of God. God is portrayed as the trinity: father, son and holy spirit. God being the Father. Jesus the Son. The Holy Spirit as God’s presence in our daily lives. This might be a difficult and hard thing to grasp. It seems like three different identities. Yet there is only one God and in him all joins together. Different formsFor example: water is water. Right? But you can drink water and when it’s frozen you can walk on it. If it’s hot you can boil an egg. God is like water. H2O. Present in different forms, with different outputs. But always the same God. Jesus as the Son of God. This remains a stumbling block to many people.  Struggling with JesusMaybe you believe in God but you struggle with Jesus. Inspiring as he may be, by saying he is the...

Is Jesus God?

What are we supposed to make of this Jesus fellow? Is Jesus God? Or is he just an interesting historical figure? The Bible is filled with stories and quotes by the intriguing man. Even our era is based on him. Countless art pieces paint a picture of Jesus. You can interpret his life in so many ways. And if you think that Christians have the monopoly on Jesus, you are mistaking. Jesus plays an important part in a lot of other religions too. As one of many Gods, an important prophet or as an inspirator. But in the Christian faith the connection between God and Jesus is the greatest. The two are intertwined.  Father & SonIn the Bible it is written that Jesus says: “Whoever sees me, sees the Father. Whoever knows me, knows the Father.” Jesus often talks about God in an intimate way. L...

Where do the Christian holidays come from?

Our calendar is full of Christian holidays: Christmas, Easter, Carnival. All throughout the year Christians all over the world celebrate important markers in the life of Jesus. There are cultural differences in how these events are celebrated. But all take the time to commemorate the birth, the suffering, the death and the resurrection of Jesus.  What is the meaning of Christmas? Christmas is the first holiday celebrated on the Christian calendar. Christmas marks the birth of Jesus. A new beginning between God and man. Read more about this celebration here and watch the Christmas story here. Why a celebration of Three Kings? The Three Kings were the first visitors of baby Jesus. This holiday is celebrated to mark the moment when the world became acquainted with Jesus. Three ...

Who were the Desert Fathers?

The meeting of Anthony the great and father Paul St. Anthony the Great, also known as St. Anthony of Egypt, was a monk who died around the year 356 A.D. He is one of the desert fathers and a lot has been written about his life by his student, Athanasius the Great, who many may know from the Athanasian Creed used by Roman Catholics, Lutherans an Anglicans. There are many anecdotes known from the desert fathers and mothers, the believers of the first centuries of Christianity. These are simple stories from a bygone era that surprisingly often prove to be super relevant today. Such as the following anecdote in which St. Paul of Thebes (who died in 342 A.D.) comes to visit him. Father Paul visits father Anthony Father Paul once visited Anthony when he was teaching three monks about a very diff...

Following Jesus

The Christian faith is not only something for your brain. It’s something that has to do with every aspect of everyday life. Many times Jesus asked people to follow him. It will not be easy, he often pointed out. He described it as ‘take up your cross and follow me’. But also he promised he will be there so you are not alone in the dark. So, how do you become a follower of Jesus? Well, by following Jesus. We know a lot about the message and life of Jesus through the stories we know from the Bible. Even when you’re not that familiar with these ancient stories, you probably will recognize the basic message Jesus lived and preached. It all circles around these beautiful simple words, words like love, forgiveness, humility, hospitality, justice, and thankfulness. The amazing thing is that these...

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