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Why so many early temples on Malta?

Why so many early temples on Malta?

Why is there such a concentration of early neolithic temples on Malta?

Seven world heritage sites, plus several other significant locations (see Megalithic Temples of Malta) adds up to a lot of temple tons per Malta's 316 square kilometers. That's one site every 24 square kilometers.

Is this density reflected elsewhere in Europe, or North Africa, or the Mediterranean? My impression is that it isn't.

If there are more temple tons per square km in Malta, then either:

  • More were built in Malta or…
  • Same number were built everywhere but were taken down/eroded everywhere else.

So I guess my question is, did Malta 3000BC have more spare capacity than everywhere else? Or otherwise where did all the other temples go?

edit: When I say "temple ton" I mean a ton of stone in a discretionary neolithic structure. Like a measure of effort available from the population.


Here are some reasons that might have contributed:

  • Malta is basically a limestone archipelago, with an abundance of Globigerina limestone that is particularly easy to process and use in construction (source). This means that temples were easy to construct, and that the re-use value of their material was relatively low.
  • Malta had little fertile soil, which constrained the density of population, leading to better preservation of temples.
  • The slow process of soil formation also meant that some of the temples were never completely covered and were known for a long time. This led to an early archaeological interest in the beginning 19th century, which might have contributed to the discovery of even more temples (source).
  • Some scholars speculate that visual connection between different temples might have played a role in the rituals (source).

Malta

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Malta, island country located in the central Mediterranean Sea. A small but strategically important group of islands, the archipelago has through its long and turbulent history played a vital role in the struggles of a succession of powers for domination of the Mediterranean and in the interplay between emerging Europe and the older cultures of Africa and the Middle East. As a result, Maltese society has been molded by centuries of foreign rule by various powers, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Swabians, Aragonese, Hospitallers, French, and British.

The island of Malta specifically played a vital strategic role in World War II as a base for the Allied Powers. It was heavily bombarded by German and Italian aircraft, and by the end of the war Malta was devastated. In 1942 the island of Malta was presented with the George Cross, a British award for great gallantry, in recognition of the wartime bravery of the Maltese people. After the war, the movement for self-governance became stronger. The country of Malta became independent from Britain and joined the Commonwealth in 1964 and was declared a republic on December 13, 1974. It was admitted to the European Union (EU) in 2004. A European atmosphere predominates in Malta as a result of close association with the Continent, particularly with southern Europe. The Maltese are renowned for their warmth, hospitality, and generosity to strangers, a trait that was noted in the Acts of the Apostles, with respect to the experience of St. Paul, the Apostle, who was said to have been shipwrecked off Malta in 60 ce .

Roman Catholicism is a major influence on Maltese culture. Various traditions have evolved around religious celebrations, notably those honouring the patron saints of towns and villages. The eight-pointed, or Maltese, cross, adopted by the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem in 1126, is commonly linked with Malta’s identity and is printed on the country’s euro coin. Valletta is the capital city.

The country comprises five islands— Malta (the largest), Gozo, Comino, and the uninhabited islets of Kemmunett (Comminotto) and Filfla—lying some 58 miles (93 km) south of Sicily, 180 miles (290 km) north of Libya, and about 180 miles (290 km) east of Tunisia, at the eastern end of the constricted portion of the Mediterranean Sea separating Italy from the African coast.


Temples of South India (6th–18th Century CE)

The Pallavas (600–900 CE) sponsored the building of the rock-cut chariot-shaped temples of Mahabalipuram, including the famous shore temple, the Kailashnath, and Vaikuntha Perumal temples in Kanchipuram in southern India. The Pallavas style further flourished with the structures growing in stature and sculptures becoming more ornate and intricate during the rule of the dynasties that followed, particularly the Cholas (900–1200 CE), the Pandyas temples (1216–1345 CE), the Vijayanagar kings (1350–1565 CE) and the Nayaks (1600–1750 CE).

The Chalukyas (543–753 CE) and the Rastrakutas (753–982 CE) also made major contributions to the development of temple architecture in Southern India. The cave temples of Badami, the Virupaksha temple at Pattadakal, the Durga Temple at Aihole, and the Kailasanatha temple at Ellora are standing examples of the grandeur of this era. Other important architectural marvels of this period are the sculptures of Elephanta Caves and the Kashivishvanatha temple.

During the Chola period, the South Indian style of building temples reached its pinnacle, as exhibited by the imposing structures of the Tanjore temples. The Pandyas followed in the footsteps the Cholas and further improved on their Dravidian style, as evident in the elaborate temple complexes of Madurai and Srirangam. After the Pandyas, the Vijayanagar kings continued the Dravidian tradition, as evident in the marvelous temples of Hampi. The Nayaks of Madurai, who followed the Vijayanagar kings, hugely contributed to the architectural style of their temples, bringing in elaborate hundred or thousand-pillared corridors and tall and ornate 'gopurams', or monumental structures that formed the gateway to the temples, as evident in the temples of Madurai and Rameswaram.


Malta’s history and heritage

Since Neolithic times, for over 8,000 years, Malta has been populated and remains of the earliest inhabitants can still be found on the island. The large structures of Neolithic temples are still standing in the south of the island of Malta (Tarxien Temples, Hagar Qim, Mnajdra), and in Gozo (Ggantija).

Table of contents

Scientists reckon that some of these temples were erected around one thousand years before the construction of the famous pyramids of Giza in Egypt, and are believed to be the oldest free-standing monuments in the world. After the Neolithic culture faded away, around 2,000 B.C., the island was conquered by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs respectively.

During the Middle Ages, Malta was involved in the Byzantine-Arab Wars and was invaded by the Arabs, who introduced new irrigation, some fruits and cotton to the island. The Arabs also brought over the Siculo-Arabic language from Sicily, to which Malta was closely affiliated at the time. The language would eventually evolve into current-day Maltese. The Arabs allowed the native Christians to practice their religion but were discriminated against by being charged with an extra tax.

The Normans seized Malta around 1091, and were welcomed by the native Christians, who will have been pleased to see Roman-Catholicism reintroduced as the state religion. The Maltese islands became part of the Kingdom of Sicily, which also covered a large part of present-day Italy.

The Order of Knights of St John (also known as the Knights of Malta) ruled the islands from 1530 until 1798, during which period they built present-day capital city Valletta. (Learn more about Valletta’s history here.)

The Knights improved living conditions across the Island building hospitals, stimulated trade and commerce and erected strong fortifications. During their rule, the Knights successfully held out for many months throughout the horrific fighting and massive assaults by Ottoman invaders, now coined The Great Siege of 1565.

In 1798 Napoleon’s army conquered the island, easily removing the Knights of St John from power, who had not been prepared for the force with which the French charged. In the six days that followed the conquest, a civil code was laid down for Malta. Slavery was abolished and all Turkish slaves were freed. Napoleon himself created a primary and secondary education system and a more scientific based university replaced the old one.

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The British Throne took over Malta after Napoleon’s demise and ruled the islands for the next 160 years. Malta was bombed persistently by German forces during World War II in an attempt to take over the Malta, which was known as a location of high strategic importance for both trade and conflict. Malta was bombed more heavily in 1942 than the whole blitz of London. The British and Maltese unified in their battle for survival and the Germans failed to conquer neither Malta, nor the Maltese.

The determination and strong spirit shown by the population of Malta led King George VI to award Malta the George Cross. His official message, which was engraved in a marble plaque on the façade of the Presidential Palace in Valletta, reads: “To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta, to bear witness to a heroism and a devotion that will long be famous in history.” This award is still part of the national flag of Malta and is seen as a symbol of a proud nation. The Maltese gained their independence from the British in 1964 and the country would continue as a sovereign state and republic. Since May 2003, Malta is a member of the European Union and a popular tourist destination for many Europeans.


Early Christian Sculptures

Greek sculptures, starting in the mid-600’s BC, were mainly done in the white marble so available in Greece. The sculptors studied the human anatomy and became experts in turning out what we now know as Classical Sculptures.

Dionysos reclining on a rock (438–432 BC) from the east pediment of the Parthenon

In 146 BC Rome defeated Greece at the Battle of Corinth and started to become what would be the Roman Empire. But in reality Greece and all she stood for had conquered Rome. Horace (65–8 BC) was a Roman lyric poet. He was aware of his age and of the debt Romans owed to Greece. Horace had been educated in Athens and sent his son to Athens to learn the mind and art of the Greeks. Horace realized that Rome had physically conquered Greece, but in reality Greece had conquered Rome. In one of his letters he comments: “When Greece was taken, she took control of her rough invader and brought the arts to rustic Latium.” The Epistles 2.1.ll.156-57 Horace suggests a metaphor with Greece as the conquered, cultivated woman who took control of the crude Roman man. Horace was correct. Most of Roman civilization was founded on Greek principles, including their religion and their art.

Roman statue of the Greek Hercules (c. 125 AD) & Roman copy of Greek Leda and the Swan sculpture (c. 1-100 AD). The myth of Leda and the Swan is a Greek myth.

Early Christian sculptors followed the Greco-Roman example of their time in their works just as the Romans imitated the Greek sculptors. Rather than imitate Greek myths, the Christians sculptors took as their inspiration the Bible.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

Christ as Good Shepherd, 300’s AD, Rome Christ as Good Shepherd, 200’s AD, Asia Minor

A Christian casket in the British Museum (below) is an example of how the Roman Christian sculptors followed the Greco-Roman manner but applied the beauty to Christian texts:

“When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’” Matthew 27:24

Ivory Plaque with Pilate Washing His Hands, Christ Bearing the Cross, and Peter Denying Christ— Rome, c. 420–30, from the “Maskell ivories.” The Trustees of the British Art Museum, London.

”Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified, and the soldiers took Him away. Carrying His own cross, He went out to The Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side, with Jesus in the middle.”John 19:16-18

“Then they seized him (Jesus) and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, ‘This man also was with him.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’ And a little later someone else saw him and said, ‘You also are one of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not.’ And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, ‘Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about.’ And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:54-62

Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, c. 359-89 AD, Marble (side view)

The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (above and below) is very famous in art circles and has been described as “probably the single most famous piece of early Christian relief sculpture.” Junius Bassus died in 359. He had been praefectus urbi, responsible for the administration of the city of Rome, and had served as an official under Constantine the Great’s son, Constantius II. He was from a senatorial family and came from the elite of Rome. He died at the age of 42 and an inscription on the sarcophagus (now in the Vatican) indicates he converted shortly before his death.

Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, c. 359-89 AD, Marble (front view)

Some of the members of his family were obviously Christian because they commissioned a great unknown sculptor to carve Junius’ elaborate and throughly beautiful sarcophagus filled with Old and New Testament stories. That sculptor ignored rules followed in official reliefs by mixing frontal and side sculptures of people plus the scenes are three-dimensional with depth and background. The heads/features of all the Testaments’ people are each one different. This ancient sarcophagus is in the manner of the Greco-Roman art of its time with an individual twist by the sculptor. The themes are Biblical rather than mythic.

A Young Christ with Peter & Paul Christ coming into Jerusalem on an ass Adam and Eve After Their Sin (Genesis 3)

The sarcophagus of Junius Bassus is the most beautiful and expertly carved of any Christian sculpture we have of Early Christian art.— Sandra Sweeny Silver


As the race progressed, temples became important because they served as a sacred meeting place for the community to congregate and revitalize their spiritual energies. Large temples were usually built at picturesque places, especially on river banks, on top of hills, and on the seashore. Smaller temples or open-air shrines can crop up just about anywhere - by the roadside or even under the tree.

Holy places in India are famous for its temples. Indian towns — from Amarnath to Ayodha, Brindavan to Banaras, Kanchipuram to Kanya Kumari — are all known for their wonderful temples.


Oldest Structures: Megalithic Temples, Malta

Dating back to 3,500 to 2,500 BCE, the Megalithic Temples of Malta are some of the oldest structures in the world. As the name suggests, they are a group of stone temples older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Excellently preserved, they were rediscovered and restored in the 19th century by European and native Maltese archaeologists.

While not much is known about who built them, evidence from inside the temples – livestock sacrifices – suggests that local farmers constructed the stony structures. There are several temples scattered around, many of which appear on the UNESCO World Heritage List. However, the most important one of them all is the two-temple complex at Ggantija.

According to UNESCO, the Megalithic Temples of Malta are some of the oldest, free-standing stone buildings on Earth. The ancient Maltese are believed to have prioritized both architectural proficiency and artistic creativity, which these structures inherently blend together.

In terms of their contemporary innovation, the temples show evidence of construction methods and design that were fairly ahead of their time. Concave facades preceded by elliptical forecourts, and indications of corbeled roofs were simply not traditional during the third millennium — but ubiquitous here.

Those who built these temples used local stone, namely coralline limestone for the exteriors and more malleable, globigerina limestone for the decorative, interior elements. The latter indicate tremendous artistic talent and craftsmanship.

Drilled holes decorate many of the panels within, as well as tree, plant, animal, and spiral motifs. The artifacts discovered within the temples, as well as their purposeful layout and design, indicate these to have been important places of potentially ritualistic weight and activity.


Secrets of Malta: Insider’s Guide

Malta is full of history, hidden gems, delicious food, and spectacular views almost everywhere you turn. Photo: Exclusively Malta

The insider advice on this page is from two of Wendy’s Trusted Travel Experts for Malta: Jason and Damon Camilleri-Allan of Exclusively Malta.

From accessing the private quarters of the current resident Knight of Malta to shopping with a famed chef in the local markets, brothers Jason and Damon can unlock doors in Malta that you couldn’t find on your own and probably didn’t even realize exist. Both citizens of Malta (where their mother was born), Damon is based on the islands and Jason lives in Canada—so you can reach one or the other of them at just about any hour of the day or night. They’re equally skilled at making the most of a one-day shore excursion, adding a few nights in Malta onto a trip elsewhere in Europe, or custom-tailoring a weeklong exploration of the islands’ deep history. And they work with a range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to locally run boutique properties and classic Mediterranean palazzos that you can have all to yourself (with private maid, butler, and chef service, if you like).

Enjoy a private dinner in the gardjola watchtower. Photo: Exclusively Malta

Most underrated place
Gozo Island, which is smaller, quieter, and much more rural than Malta. Many people visit just for a day, but to feel the true essence of Gozo, you need to spend at least one night.

Most overrated place
The Blue Lagoon, off Comino Island. During the warmer months, tourist boats flock there to see the clear waters. Instead, Damon and Jason recommend (and can arrange) a sailboat or luxury yacht to places just as beautiful but without these crowds. If you’re set on the Blue Lagoon, stay on nearby Gozo Island (see “Most Underrated place,” below) and visit early in the morning—or better yet, charter a sailboat or yacht for the night and have the lagoon all to yourself when you wake up.

To have the Blue Lagoon to yourself, charter a sailboat or yacht for the night. Photo: Exclusively Malta

Hidden gem
While many people visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, most overlook the public garden with fantastic views that is located across the harbor in the city of Senglea. Its most striking feature is the gardjola watchtower Damon and Jason can arrange for a private cocktail hour or dinner in the tower.

Cheap thrill
Charter a traditional dghajsa boat to see the Grand Harbour. A 30-minute tour of this historic harbor costs fewer than 50 euros for up to six people.

Take a country stroll, like the relatively short, flat route that takes you from the sleepy village of Qrendi to the Blue Grotto and some ancient temples. Ask about more challenging hiking trails, if that’s what you want.

The Qbajjar Salt Pans on Gozo offer stunning views. Photo: Exclusively Malta

Prime picnic spot
The views are impeccable from the Dingli Cliffs on Malta and the salt pans on Gozo, and there are olive groves on both islands where you can settle in for an al fresco lunch. Jason and Damon frequently plan private, pop-up picnics in quiet spots around the islands, with a casual basket of goodies or a more formal set table and chef-prepared meal.

Bragging rights
The Knights of Malta is a Roman Catholic organization dedicated to charity that has played a role in the country’s heritage since the 16th century. Jason and Damon can introduce you privately to a Knight of this Order—in his enclave atop a storied fort. He can elucidate how the Knights’ history is interwoven with that of Malta and explain their current philanthropic mission.

Jason and Damon are friends with a noble family whose ancestors have lived on Malta since the 17th century—and they will personally welcome you into their 250-year-old home, which is full of remarkable works of art it’s like stepping into a museum.

Where to Stay and What to Eat

Mdina is Malta’s old capital. Photo: Viewingmalta.com

Best-value splurge hotel
The long-awaited Iniala Harbour House is the most luxurious hotel in Malta—in terms of design, food, and service—with the best address in Valletta and views of the Grand Harbour. Jason and Damon’s travelers receive upgrades when available.

But Malta’s most beautiful and interesting properties are its private countryside villas and city palazzos. Jason and Damon have access to modern, Mediterranean-style villas in the north of the island and centuries-old palazzos (some of which have pools or rooftop hot tubs) in Valletta and the Three Cities.

Valletta, the capital of Malta, is built on ancient walls above the Grand Harbour. Photo: Shutterstock

Best-bang-for-your-buck hotel
The 21-room Cugo Gran Macina, which skillfully works Scandinavian-style minimalist luxury into the bones of a limestone historic landmark. Although it’s located across Grand Harbour from Valletta, Jason and Damon work with boatmen who will privately ferry you to town and back. It’s worth booking a mid-category corner suite for the harbor views from your private terrazzo. Jason and Damon’s travelers receive upgrades when available.

Restaurant the locals love
Bahia, a restaurant in the charming village of Lija, serves elevated Maltese and Mediterranean cuisine. Grab a Cisk Lager beer with the locals beforehand at the Grasshopper bar next door.

Most villages have a band club, with everyone from the young to the elderly marching in the band during that village’s feast. Stop in at the King’s Own Band Club Bar and Restaurant, just off the main street in Valletta, for a sampling of Maltese delicacies at reasonable prices.

Rogantino’s is a 500-year-old hunting lodge in the middle of a farmer’s field on the outskirts of Rabat. You can eat indoors or out order the suckling pig.

Pastizzi is a savory filo-dough snack, usually filled with ricotta or mashed peas. Photo: Exclusively Malta

Dish to try
Rabbit is Malta’s national meat. Try it pan-fried, stewed, or in pasta. The Qrendi Bocci Club serves an excellent version, along with other local dishes.

Pastizzi. It’s a savory filo-dough snack, usually filled with ricotta or mashed peas, found all over the island. Try it in a local bar such as the King’s Arms or the ever-popular Is-Serkin, both in Rabat village.

Many restaurants offer a Maltese platter, which showcases local bread, cheese, tomatoes, sausage, pickled vegetables, and more. Choose a restaurant that has its own farm!


13 Good Historical For The Early Dating of the Gospels:

What about early dating? Are there any arguments that are in favor of it? Yep, there sure are. There’s a lot of things that are conspicuous by their absence when we look at Acts.

Luke was the first church historian. And Acts is the sequel to his own gospel, which he says he was careful to interview eyewitnesses about. (Luke 1:1-4) There’s a lot of interesting details we find out about life and (hard) times of the early church.

We read about the martyrdom of James the brother of John. (See Acts 12:1-3) We find out about the martyrdom of Stephen. (See Acts 7:56-60) We hear about the early church persecution of Peter and Paul. We follow Peter in the first half of the book, and then we get up close with Paul in the last half of the book.

There are some big events that are missing from Acts that you’d expect to find from such a thorough storyteller like Luke. We’ll now look at 13 reasons why scholars — even some non-conservative ones — date the Gospels earlier.

1. THE DEATH OF PAUL

At the end of Acts, Paul is under house arrest in Malta while having his own healing revival. Paul’s execution was in 62-64. After being Paul’s biographer for a huge portion of the book, this seems like a huge event for Luke to fail to mention. Luke has been keenly interested in what is going to happen to Paul. It’s unlikely that he’d cut his book’s narrative off without telling what happened in Paul’s hearing if he were writing much later.

Adolf von Harnack was a prominent German NT scholar who changed his mind on the late dating of the Gospels and Acts. His turnabout came precisely because of the ending of Acts and that Paul is still in Rome alive and preaching. Says Harnack: “we are accordingly left with the result: that the concluding verses of the Acts of the Apostles, taken in conjunction with the absence of any reference in the book to the result of the trial of St. Paul and to his martyrdom, make it to the highest degree possible that the work was written at a time when St. Paul’s trial had not yet come to an end.”

The Beheading of Saint Paul by Enrique Simonet, 1887

2. THE DEATH OF PETER

Luke was also up close with Peter in Acts, so it’s also weird that he doesn’t mention Peter’s martyrdom in 65 AD. Again, we see Stephen and James the son of Zebedee’s deaths. Yet he fails to mention the death of the towering figure who preached on Pentecost and was such a pivotal figure in his gospel? It doesn’t add up.

3. THE DEATH OF JAMES THE BROTHER OF JESUS

James was a huge figure in the church of Jerusalem. He looms large in Acts. He’s also Jesus’ brother. We know from the Jewish historian Josephus that James’ martyrdom took place in 62 AD. Josephus thought it was a big enough deal to describe this event, and he was no Christian.

4. THE SEVERE PERSECUTIONS OF NERO

Nero himself was probably to blame for a large fire that broke out in Rome. What’s an emperor to do when his capital city is in flames and it’s his own fault? Blame those weird Christians, of course.

This happened around 64 AD. We can read about it in some detail in Tacitus. It’s a strange thing for Luke not to mention this. Luke mentions the church’s persecution in other places, like Jerusalem, Phillipi, Ephesus and more places. Luke also at length discusses relief efforts for the impoverished saints in Jerusalem during a famine.

But he doesn’t mention one of the more gruesome persecutions of the time?

5. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE AND THE SECOND COMING

This might be the most convincing proof of them all. The passages in Matthew that describe the destruction of Jerusalem and Jesus’ second coming seemingly leave no time between the two events. Reading Mark and Luke, the interval between the two events is brief. Skeptics like Bertrand Russell and Bart Ehrman have been quick to pounce on this as if Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet.

I’m not here to give a theological explanation, although many have been offered throughout the centuries. The association of the destruction of Jerusalem with the return of Jesus wouldn’t exist if the composition of the Gospels was after the destruction of the Temple. Surely there would’ve been some explanation or indication that the two events were not to stand in so close juxtaposition.

6. LUKE WAS TRUE TO HIS TIMES

Luke has a lot to say about issues of the day that wouldn’t have been relevant after the destruction of Jerusalem. For instance, there was the brouhaha about how to deal with Gentiles now being members of the church. There’s also mention of the division between the Palestinian and Hellenistic Jews. These would not be relevant after Jerusalem’s destruction. Disputes like these are absent in the writings of early church fathers.

7. PAUL QUOTES LUKE AS SCRIPTURE

The letters to Timothy proceeded Paul’s death. Paul writes:

The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Tim. 5:17–18)

Paul quotes Deuteronomy alongside Luke. This saying is in Luke 10:7. Scriptures refer to something written down, so this goes beyond oral tradition. This takes for granted that they had familiarity with what Scriptures Paul was talking about.

I understand some critics say Paul didn’t write 1 Timothy. But I’d humbly argue that they are incorrect in their assessment. The main reasons to reject Pauline authorship are thin, as I cover here.

8. Jesus Approves of the Temple Tax

NT scholar Robert Gundry tells why this is so significant:

“The distinctive passage [of Matthew 17:24–27] teaches that Jewish Christians should not contribute to their fellow Jews’ rejection of the gospel by refusing to pay the Temple tax. This exhortation not only shows Matthew’s concern to win Jews. It specifically favors a date of writing before AD 70 for after the destruction of God’s temple in Jerusalem the Romans shifted the tax to the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome (Josephus J.W. 7.6.6 §218 Dio Cassius 65.7 Suetonius Dom. 12), and m. Šeqal. 8.8 says that the laws concerning “the Shekel dues…apply only such time as the Temple stands...

Surely Matthew does not include this passage to support the upkeep of a pagan temple, for then the argument implies that the disciples are sons of the pagan god! Nor can we suppose that Matthew is urging Jewish Christians to support the school of pharisaical rabbis that formed in Jamnia yet during the aftermath of the Jewish rebellion, for he excoriates the Pharisees throughout his Gospel. The argument from 17:24–27 for an early date gains further cogency from the evidence that Matthew himself composed the passage.

9. Swearing by the Temple

In Matthew 23:16-22, Jesus is excoriating the scribes and Pharisees. He says:

Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

This text makes as much sense as me talking to a Gen Z audience about slide projectors or phone booths. Unless the temple still stood, all of these practices would be antiquated.

10 Gift at the Altar

In Matthew 5:23-24 we read “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

It could be the case that Matthew was faithfully passing on a saying of Jesus, but it doesn’t make as much sense for Matthew to relay it for the very important reason that no one could obey it if the temple was no longer standing!

11. Jewish Persecution

If Matt 23:34 is reflecting current Jewish persecution of Christians by the synagogue, the verse implies an authority to punish that Jewish leaders did not likely have after the temple destruction.

12. Patristic Evidence

Irenaeus was a student of Polycarp. Polycarp was a student of John. Therefore Irenaeus was in a position to know about the composition of the Gospels. In his book Against Heresies, he writes: “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church.” (3.1)

That’s interesting. The internal evidence we have for the early dating of the Gospels now matches the external dating.

13. Who was the unnamed disciple who was “famous in the gospel?”

2 Corinthians 8:18-19 speaks of a famous unnamed disciple that several church fathers (Origen, Jerome) and some commentators believe is referring to Luke.

“We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work…”

The commentator Barnes observes “…Luke was the companion and intimate friend of Paul and attended him in his travels. From Acts 16:10-11, where Luke uses the term “we,” it appears that he was with Paul when he first went into Macedonia, and from Acts 16:15 it is clear that he went with Paul to Philippi. From Acts 17:1, where Luke alters his style and uses the term “they,” it is evident that he did not accompany Paul and Silas when they went to Thessalonica, but either remained at Philippi or departed to some other place.

He did not join them again until they went to Troas on the way to Jerusalem Acts 20:5. In what manner Luke spent the interval is not known…it seems probable that Luke is the person referred to by the phrase “whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches.” This would be more likely to be applied to one who had written a gospel, or a life of the Redeemer that had been extensively circulated, than to any other person.

While this is admittedly speculative, it does make sense of Paul quoting Luke’s gospel.


9 Little-Known Facts

Recreating Balance – A few examples of obvious ‘cracks in the matrix’ that can help see through the other side:

1. Mainstream history dates the discovery of Antarctica to early 19th century, and its complete mapping to the 20th century. However there are countless maps dating several centuries before, which clearly show very accurate mapping of Antarctica, many of them even show the map of the land underneath the ice:

2. One of the biggest and most powerful countries in history (until 1775 roughly), Tartaria, is mostly unknown nowadays, because its history makes the official history of our planet, which is full of lies, impossible. This vast and powerful country is depicted on countless official maps and referenced in many texts from back then:

3. In the late 30s and early 40s, Henry Ford’s company was building cars running on hemp fuel, with a shell made of hemp which was 10 times stronger than steel, as shown in this footage from 1941:

In fact hemp was widely used for centuries until it got outlawed at the same time as cannabis, although hemp is not cannabis, but its close cousin which has no THC in it.
Its widespread use is clearly shown in this 10 dollar bill from 1914 depicting hemp field on its back.

Other alternatives to petrol for fueling cars were introduced back then, as shown in this footage of an electric car in the streets in France in 1942.

The only reason why these alternatives are so rare and less efficient nowadays is because of suppression, lack of funding, etc. Hemp can produce higher quality, cheaper, and environmental friendly clothes, paper, all forms of plastic, housing, etc.

4. Three of the most important and famous power structures in history, the White house in DC, the Versailles Castle in France, and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, are aligned in an exact straight line. That line even aligns perfectly with the design of Versailles and its water canals:

On top of that, the distance between Versailles and the White House is 3333 nautical miles (99,7% accurate), and the distance between Versailles and the Dome of the Rock is 3333 kilometers (99,6%).

Anybody can verify this in Google maps. There are many other similar alignements on our planet.

5. The central district in London, UK, called the ‘city’, is, just like the Vatican, an independent territory that does not belong to the UK. The monarchs of England actually need an authorization from the ‘mayor of the city of London’ (who is not the elected mayor of London, but the owner of the corporation who owns the ‘city’) every time they enter the ‘city’.

6. Jim Morrison was one of the most famous musical figures of the 60s as the singer of the band The Doors. His father was actually the general of the US army in charge of the Vietnam war, and of the false flag that started it.

Jim grew up on a military base, just like many other famous musical figures. For example, Frank Zappa’s father was “a chemical warfare specialist assigned to – where else? – the Edgewood Arsenal. Edgewood is, of course, the longtime home of America’s chemical warfare program, as well as a facility frequently cited as being deeply enmeshed in MK-ULTRA operations. Curiously enough, Frank Zappa literally grew up at the Edgewood Arsenal […]

The family later moved to Lancaster, California, near Edwards Air Force Base, where Francis Zappa continued to busy himself with doing classified work for the military/intelligence complex. His son, meanwhile, prepped himself to become an icon of the peace & love crowd.”

Other famous musical figures with similar cases include the Beach Boys, Crosby Stills and Nash, and many others :

Many of these musicians were frequently hanging out with the Manson family, including the Rolling Stones, no wonder one of their most famous album is called ‘their satanic majesty’s request’.

There are many other examples with more recent musicians, all of which show the wide involvement of the MK ultra program in music and other celebrity scenes since the 50s.

7. The Moon and the Sun appear the exact same size in our sky, because the moon is both 400 times smaller than the Sun, and 400 times closer to us than the Sun. This is the reason why eclipses are possible.

Also the Earth turns 400 times faster than the Moon, and the Earth circumference is roughly 40000km. There are many other repeating numbers and synchronicities in the universe. Source : www.secretsinplainsight.com

8. Wim Hof has become famous recently for breaking records such as staying in extreme cold conditions without changes in his body temperature, climbing mount Everest with no clothes on except a pair of shorts, etc. He has shown that he can change his hormone levels, body temperature, remove disease from his body, etc, simply with the power of his mind and breathing techniques.

All of this has been done while being strictly scientifically monitored. What’s more, he repeatedly explains that everybody have the power to do this, he’s taught his techniques to several people who have then shown the same results under scientific monitoring. All of these accomplishments aren’t really new, especially for many traditions from Asia and other shamanic traditions around the world, however this is the first time it has been fully recorded scientifically.

9. There are many archeological facts that make official history impossible. A very striking example is the big pyramid found in Nice, south France. It measured 50 meters high and was estimated to be about 4000 years old. It was destroyed in the 1970s to build a highway. It is well documented in pictures and texts from before then.

Another clear example is the Hypogeum in Malta, an underground complex completely carved out of stones under the earth. It is estimated to be at least 5000 years old, and that more than 2000 tonnes of stones were dug out to build it. When discovered by archeologists, 7000 skeletons were found inside, which were humanoid but had significant differences with the Earth humans as we know them now.

All of these skeletons disappeared mysteriously except a handful which were placed in the museum in Malta and well documented, and then disappeared from the museum in the 1980s.

The Kailasa temple in India was also carved out of rock, only it is much bigger, it is estimated that at least 200 000 tons of stones had to be removed to build it. How that was done is still a mystery.

Another example is this ancient quarry in Crimea showing rock cutting technique much more advanced than anything we have today.

Bonus Fact: Love and Truth are the most powerful forces in creation, and they can solve anything ! Proof for that can’t be presented though, everybody have to go make their own scientific tests and experiences.