Here are a selection of FREE downloads which hopefully you will find both interesting and informative.
Codex Sinaiticus : British Musuem, London, England
"The Complete Works of Josephus"
Losepos, son of Mattias, better known by his Roman name, Flavius Josephus, (37 AD - 100 AD (?) ) is certainly one of histories great enigma's.
To many Jewish readers, he is a traitor who surrendered his command at the Galilean garrison of Yodfat, during the first Jewish- Roman War (66 - 73 AD) and watched as thousands of his fellow soldiers perished or were made slaves.
This opinion in reenforced by the fact he went on to provide the Romans with intelligence on Jewish strategy and the ongoingrevolt. He even stood outside the walls of Jerusalem in 70 AD and encouraged the Jews to surrender. After the War, hewas given Roman citizenship, a generous pension and an estate in Judea. He was a frequent visitor to Rome and enjoyed thepatronage of two Caesars, Vespasian and Titus.
However to the modern Bible student, he is a source of much valuable information regarding individuals, religious groups,customs and geographical places.
His writings provide an invaluable extra- biblical account of the post exilic period of the Maccabees, the Hasmonean dynastyand the rise of Herod the Great.
He makes reference to the Sadducees, Jewish high priests of the time (collaborating the Bible record), the Pharasees(it is thought Josephus himself was a Pharasee), the Essenes (his writings shed much light on the dead sea scrolls and the mysterious"Teacher of Righteousness") and most significant of all ... he even refers to Jesus Christ himself !
He wrote essentially 4 major works :
- "The Wars of the Jews" (c.75 AD)
- "Antiquities of the Jews" (c.94 AD)
- "Against Apion" (c 97AD)
- "The Life of Flavius Josephus" (Autobiography : c 99 AD)
This FREE DOWNLOAD (PDF) contains all the above (in English) together with the smaller work "Concerning Hades" (writing date unknown).
The Babylonian Talmud
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites because you give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cummin but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things it was binding to do yet not to disregard the other things". (Matt 23 :23 NWT).
The religion of the Jews taught at the time of Christ was a distortion of the simple truths explained in the Law of Moses and the Prophets. It was the teachings of the RABBI's. These learned men elaborated, expounded upon and ADDED to the commands of God, to such an extent the Mosiac Law which should have been a blessing became a crushing burden to the common people. (See also Matt 15 : 3 - 9, Matt 7 : 1 - 13 ).
The New Testament only breifly alludes to the effect these men had on the lives and families of the Jewish people.
To really understand the full extent of "legalism gone mad" a serious student needs to consider the Rabbinical writings at source.
This FREE DOWNLOAD makes available an interesting reference work - a clear, printable PDF format in ENGLISH , an unedited translation of "The Babylonian Talmud"
This is the superlative 10 volume English translation by Michael L Rodkinson, first published in 1918.
"The Two Babylons" (Alexander Hyslop)
The Apostle Paul made the following prediction shortly before his arrest at Jerusalem : "I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among YOU men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away disciples after themselves". Did the foretold apostasy of Christianity shortly after the death of the apostles actually take place ?
Read for yourself the detailed evidence that Christianity was indeed corrupted beyond recognition in the fascinating and highly controversial book "The Two Babylons" by Alexander Hislop.
Who was Alexander Hislop ? Was he an atheist or even an agnostic who felt Christendom had deviated too far from the principles of primitive Christianity ? Far from it. Alexander Hislop was born at Duns, Berwickshire, England in 1807. His father, Stephen Hislop was an elder of the Relief Church of Scotland.
His brother, also called Stephen was a famous missionary in India. Alexander Hislop was employed for many years as a schoolmaster at Wick, Caithness, Scotland and was for a time the editor of the Scottish Guardian newspaper. He was ordained by the Free Church of Scotland in 1844 and became a senior minister in 1864.
So what did this highly educated and deeply religious man conclude after years of research concerning the history of the Christian church after 100 AD ?
He concluded the Roman Catholic Church was a Babylonian mystery cult and pagan. He presented masses of evidence to show Roman Catholic religious practices are actually pagan practices grafted onto true Christianity during the reign of Constantine (306 - 337 AD).
Constantine he claimed, was the true founder of the Roman Catholic Church who Christianised the empire purely for political purposes and had little scruples about merging Christian characters with pagan mythology.
"The Divine Name in Major Translations of the Bible"
"The Bible Atlas"
(Wonderful collection of old Bible Maps & Charts)
"Matthew Henry''s Concise Bible Commentary"
(A very useful Bible resource)
"The Dead Sea Scrolls"
(The excellent US Library of Congress Exhibit)
The History of the English Bible" - Henry Cameron ( Reference work outlining the troubled history of the translating of God's word into the English language)
"The Vatican Codex"
(One of the oldest and most valuable extant manuscripts of the Greek Bible .
Contains Old and New Testament)