ARLINGTON, Va. — "Risen" flips the script on the traditional telling of the resurrection of Christ, focusing on the story through the lens of a non-believer, a Roman military Tribune tasked with finding Christ's missing body in order to quash hopes among the Jews of a risen Savior.
Directed by Kevin Reynolds, the Sony/AffirmFilms faith-based movie stars lead actor Joseph Fiennes, 44, ("Shakespeare in Love" and "Luther") who delivers a credible portrayal of the fictional Roman Tribune, Clavius. Ordered by Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) to find Yeshua's body and prove the empty tomb of "The Nazarene" to be no more than a hoax to "keep a crusade alive," Clavius will stop at nothing to that end.
With the help of his aide, Lucius, played by Tom Felton, Fiennes' character scouts out clues that he believes will lead to Christ's missing body, much like a detective would a criminal case, giving "Risen" a mystery-like quality that will appeal to believers and non-believers alike. It's what attracted Fiennes to the film. more >>
Palestinian Muslims are part of an ongoing international effort to renovate the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which scholars believe is the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
The Associated Press said in a report on Tuesday that the team of Palestinian and international experts are leading the biggest restoration the historical church has received in close to 600 years. The restoration includes the removal of centuries of dust and structural repairs to windows and the rooftop, with workers being careful to preserve artwork and mosaics dating back to the Crusades. more >>
An evangelical pastor who endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president insisted that controversial remarks he made years back suggesting that Adolf Hitler was one of the "hunters" sent by God to kill Jewish people have been misunderstood.
Pastor Mike Bickle, founder and director of the International House of Prayer, has endorsed Cruz for president, but a number of online articles have pointed out a controversial sermon in 2011 where he said that God would "raise up hunters" against Jewish people who refuse to convert to Christianity. The pastor further called Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler "the most famous hunter in recent history."
The Aleppo Codex, the oldest surviving copy of the Hebrew Bible that some experts believe all versions of the Old Testament stem from, has been recognized by UNESCO as an important world treasure.
I24News reported that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization added the millennium-old Codex earlier this week to its International Memory of the World Register, which honors some of the most important discoveries relating to human history.
Adolfo Roitman, the head curator of the Shrine of the Book Museum in Jerusalem, which holds the Codex, explained its significance, stating that all current versions of the Old Testament stem, "in one way or another, from this ancient manuscript." more >>
Ahmed and his college-aged American friends have long considered themselves to be committed supporters of Palestinian solidarity.
The young college student joined the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement in the hopes of forcing Israel to end the occupation of the Palestinian Territories.
"We boycott a lot of stuff to fight Israeli Apartheid," said Ahmed. "I haven't eaten hummus, fired an uzi, or used a mobile phone in years. No sacrifice is too great for the BDS Movement." more >>
A recently released report by Israel's National Insurance Institute shows that 1.7 million Israelis live below the poverty line, including 23 percent of the country's seniors and 13.7 percent of working families, up from 7 percent in 1999.
Those are the numbers that push Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein — founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) — onto airplanes and then onto stages at packed auditoriums around the world, in order to raise awareness and funds. Though he made aliyah 13 years ago, Eckstein spends half the year away from his Jerusalem home on the road promoting The Fellowship's mission.
The Fellowship is the largest private charitable foundation in Israel, and receives 99 percent of its annual $137 million in donations from Christians — mostly from North America. Funds raised by The Fellowship are distributed to Jews and others in need, whether they are Jews and other communities in Israel lacking adequate food, shelter, and security; Diaspora Jews needing financial assistance to move to Israel; Israeli soldiers finding it hard to make it on an IDF stipend; or elderly Holocaust survivors and other Jews in the former Soviet Union. more >>