Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals and plants in their environment. A person who studies natural history is called natural historian. Natural history is not limited to it, it involves the systematic study of any category of natural organisms. So while it dates from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to European Renaissance naturalists working in near isolation, today's natural history is a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences; the meaning of the English term "natural history" has narrowed progressively with time. In antiquity, "natural history" covered anything connected with nature, or which used materials drawn from nature, such as Pliny the Elder's encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, which covers astronomy, geography and their technology and superstition, as well as animals and plants. Medieval European academics considered knowledge to have two main divisions: the humanities and divinity, with science studied through texts rather than observation or experiment.
The study of nature revived in the Renaissance, became a third branch of academic knowledge, itself divided into descriptive natural history and natural philosophy, the analytical study of nature. In modern terms, natural philosophy corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, while natural history included the biological and geological sciences; the two were associated. During the heyday of the gentleman scientists, many people contributed to both fields, early papers in both were read at professional science society meetings such as the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences – both founded during the seventeenth century. Natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus' aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden; the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits. Modern definitions of natural history come from a variety of fields and sources, many of the modern definitions emphasize a particular aspect of the field, creating a plurality of definitions with a number of common themes among them.
For example, while natural history is most defined as a type of observation and a subject of study, it can be defined as a body of knowledge, as a craft or a practice, in which the emphasis is placed more on the observer than on the observed. Definitions from biologists focus on the scientific study of individual organisms in their environment, as seen in this definition by Marston Bates: "Natural history is the study of animals and Plants – of organisms.... I like to think of natural history as the study of life at the level of the individual – of what plants and animals do, how they react to each other and their environment, how they are organized into larger groupings like populations and communities" and this more recent definition by D. S. Wilcove and T. Eisner: "The close observation of organisms—their origins, their evolution, their behavior, their relationships with other species"; this focus on organisms in their environment is echoed by H. W. Greene and J. B. Losos: "Natural history focuses on where organisms are and what they do in their environment, including interactions with other organisms.
It encompasses changes in internal states insofar as they pertain to what organisms do". Some definitions go further, focusing on direct observation of organisms in their environment, both past and present, such as this one by G. A. Bartholomew: "A student of natural history, or a naturalist, studies the world by observing plants and animals directly; because organisms are functionally inseparable from the environment in which they live and because their structure and function cannot be adequately interpreted without knowing some of their evolutionary history, the study of natural history embraces the study of fossils as well as physiographic and other aspects of the physical environment". A common thread in many definitions of natural history is the inclusion of a descriptive component, as seen in a recent definition by H. W. Greene: "Descriptive ecology and ethology". Several authors have argued for a more expansive view of natural history, including S. Herman, who defines the field as "the scientific study of plants and animals in their natural environments.
It is concerned with levels of organization from the individual organism to the ecosystem, stresses identification, life history, distribution and inter-relationships. It and appropriately includes an esthetic component", T. Fleischner, who defines the field more broadly, as "A practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy"; these definitions explicitly include the arts in the field of natural history, are aligned with the broad definition outlined by B. Lopez, who defines the field as the "Patient interrogation of a landscape" while referring to the natural history knowledge of the Eskimo. A different framework for natural history, covering a similar range of themes, is implied in the scope of work encompassed by many leading natural history museums, which include elements of anthropology, geology and astronomy along with botany and zoology, or include both cultural and natural components of the world; the pl
Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle known as Saint Paul and known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe, he took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. According to writings in the New Testament and prior to his conversion, Paul was dedicated to persecuting the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. In the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to "arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem" when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light, he was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God. Half of the book of Acts deals with Paul's life and works.
Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the Pauline epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not asserted in the Epistle itself and was doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, it was unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews, but that view is now universally rejected by scholars. The other six are believed by some scholars to have come from followers writing in his name, using material from Paul's surviving letters and letters written by him that no longer survive. Other scholars argue that the idea of a pseudonymous author for the disputed epistles raises many problems. Today, Paul's epistles continue to be vital roots of the theology and pastoral life in the Catholic and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Orthodox traditions of the East.
Paul's influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as "profound as it is pervasive", among that of many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith. Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide, it has been popularly assumed that Saul's name was changed when he became a follower of Jesus Christ, but, not the case. His Jewish name was "Saul" after the biblical King Saul, a fellow Benjamite and the first king of Israel. According to the Book of Acts, he was a Roman citizen; as a Roman citizen, he bore the Latin name of "Paul"—in biblical Greek: Παῦλος, in Latin: Paulus. It was typical for the Jews of that time to have one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek. Jesus called him "Saul, Saul" in "the Hebrew tongue" in the book of Acts, when he had the vision which led to his conversion on the Road to Damascus. In a vision to Ananias of Damascus, "the Lord" referred to him as "Saul, of Tarsus".
When Ananias came to restore his sight, he called him "Brother Saul". In Acts 13:9, Saul is called "Paul" for the first time on the island of Cyprus—much than the time of his conversion; the author indicates that the names were interchangeable: "Saul, called Paul." He thereafter refers to him as Paul Paul's preference since he is called Paul in all other Bible books where he is mentioned, including those that he authored. Adopting his Roman name was typical of Paul's missionary style, his method was to put people at their ease and to approach them with his message in a language and style to which they could relate, as in 1 Cor 9:19–23. The main source for information about Paul's life is the material found in Acts. However, the epistles contain little information about Paul's pre-conversion past; the book of Acts recounts more information but leaves several parts of Paul's life out of its narrative, such as his probable but undocumented execution in Rome. Some scholars believe Acts contradicts Paul's epistles on multiple accounts, in particular concerning the frequency of Paul's visits to the church in Jerusalem.
Sources outside the New Testament that mention Paul include: Clement of Rome's epistle to the Corinthians. Paul was born between the years of 5 BC and 5 AD; the Book of Acts indicates that Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, but Helmut Koester takes issue with the evidence presented by the text. He was from a devout Jewish family in the city of Tarsus, one of the largest trade centers on the Mediterranean coast, it had been in existence several hundred years prior to his birth. It was renowned for its university. During the time of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC, Tarsus was the most influential city in Asia Minor. Paul referred to himself as being "of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; the Bible reveals little abou
British Israelism is a pseudoarchaeological movement which holds the view that the people of the British Isles are "genetically and linguistically the direct descendants" of the Ten Lost Tribes of ancient Israel. With roots in the 16th century, British Israelism was inspired by several 19th-century English writings such as John Wilson's 1840 Our Israelitish Origin; the movement never had a centralized structure. Various British Israelite organisations were set up throughout the British Empire as well as in America from the 1870s. In America, its ideas gave rise to the Christian Identity movement; the central tenets of British Israelism have been refuted by evidence from modern archaeological, ethnological and linguistic research. According to Brackney and Fine, the French Hugenot magistrate M. le Loyer's The Ten Lost Tribes, published in 1590, provided the first expression that "Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and associated cultures" were direct descendants of the ancient Israelites. Anglo-Israelism has been attributed to Francis Drake and James VI and I, who believed he was the King of Israel.
Adriaan van Schrieck, who influenced Henry Spelman and John Sadler, wrote in the early 17th century about his ideas on the origins of the Celtic and Saxon peoples. In 1649, Sadler published The Rights of the Kingdom, "which argues for an'Israelite genealogy for the British people'". Aspects of British Israelism and its influences have been traced to Richard Brothers' A Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times in 1794, John Wilson's Our Israelitish Origin, John Pym Yeatman's The Shemetic Origin of the Nations of Western Europe. British Israelism arose in England spread to the United States. British-Israelists cite various medieval manuscripts to claim an older origin, but British Israelism as a distinct movement appeared in the early 1880s: Although scattered British Israel societies are known to have existed as early as 1872, there was at first no real move to develop an organization beyond the small groups of believers which had arisen spontaneously; the beginnings of the movement as an identifiable religious force can, therefore, be more placed in the 1880's when the circumstances of the time were propitious for the appearance of a movement so imperialistically-orientated.
The extent to which the clergy in Britain became aware of the movement may be gauged from the comment made by Cardinal John Henry Newman when asked why he had left the Church of England in 1845 to join the Roman Catholic Church. He said that there was a real danger that the movement "would take over the Church of England."In the 19th century, Edward Hine, Edward Wheeler Bird, Herbert Aldersmith developed the British Israelite movement. Hine and Bird would achieve a degree of "doctrinal coherence" by seeing off competing forms of the ideology: in 1878 the Anglo-Ephraim Association of London, which followed Wilson in embraced the broader community of western European Germanic peoples among those they believed were favored by God, would be absorbed into Bird's Metropolitan Anglo-Israel Association, espousing the Anglo-exclusive view promoted by Hine. By the 1890s, the "Anglo-Israel Association" had 300 members. Hine departed for the United States where he promoted the idea; the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia stated that British Israelism's adherents "are said to number 2,000,000 in England and the United States", an unreliable figure if association membership and journal subscription numbers are any guide, though there would have been a broader, unmeasurable sympathy towards the views of the movement among Protestants globally.
Between 1899 and 1902, adherents of British Israelism dug up parts of the Hill of Tara in the belief that the Ark of the Covenant was buried there, doing much damage to one of Ireland's most ancient royal and archaeological sites. At the same time, British Israelism became associated with various pseudo-archaeological pyramidology theories, such as the notion that the Pyramid of Khufu contained a prophetic numerology of the British peoples. In 1914, the thirty-fourth year of its publication, the Anglo-Israel Almanac listed details of a large number of Kingdom Identity Groups operating independently throughout the British Isles and in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America. In 1919, the British-Israel-World Federation was founded in London, Covenant Publishing was founded in 1922. William Pascoe Goard was the first director of the publishing house. During this time, several prominent figures patronized its publisher. One of the highest profile members was William Massey Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Due to the expansive nature of the British Empire, believers in British Israelism spread worldwide and the BIWF expanded its organization to the commonwealth. Howard Rand promoted the teaching and became National Commissioner of the Anglo-Saxon Federation of America in 1928, he published The Bulletin renamed The Messenger of the Covenant. More it has been renamed Destiny. During its peak in the early 20th century, British Israelism was supported by John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher. A prolific author on British Israelism during the 1930s and 40s was Alexander James Ferris; the BIWF continues to exist, with its main headquarters located in Bishop Auckland in County Durham. It has chapters in Australia, The Netherlands, New Zealand and South Afr
Britannia has been used in several different senses. The name is a Latinisation of the native Brittonic word for the island, Pretanī, which produced the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which in the fourth to the first centuries BC, designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Britain. In Modern Welsh the name remains Prydain. By the 1st century BC, Britannia came to be used for Great Britain specifically. After the Roman conquest in 43 AD, Britannia meant Roman Britain, a province covering the island south of Caledonia; when Roman Britain was divided into four provinces in 197 AD, two were called Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. Britannia is the name given to the female personification of the island, it is a term still used to refer to the whole island. In the 2nd century, Roman Britannia came to be personified as a goddess, armed with a trident and shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet; the name Britannia long survived the end of Roman rule in Britain in the 5th century and yielded the name for the island in most European and various other languages, including the English Britain and the modern Welsh Prydain.
In the 9th century the associated terms Bretwalda and brytenwealda ealles ðyses ealonde were applied to some Anglo-Saxon kings to assert a wider hegemony in Britain and hyperbolic inscriptions on coins and titles in charters included the equivalent title rex Britanniae. However when England was unified the title used was rex Angulsaxonum. After centuries of declining use, the Latin form was revived during the English Renaissance as a rhetorical evocation of a British national identity. Following the Acts of Union in 1707, which joined the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, the personification of the martial Britannia was used as an emblem of British maritime power and unity, most notably in "Rule, Britannia!". A British cultural icon, she was featured on all modern British coinage series until the redesign in 2008, still appears annually on the gold and silver "Britannia" bullion coin series. In 2015 a new definitive £2 coin was issued, with a new image of Britannia, she is depicted in the Brit Awards statuette, the British Phonographic Industry's annual music awards.
The first writer to use a form of the name was the Greek explorer and geographer Pytheas in the 4th century BC. Pytheas referred to Prettanike or Brettaniai, a group of islands off the coast of North-Western Europe. In the 1st century BC, Diodorus Siculus referred to Pretannia, a rendering of the indigenous name for the Pretani people whom the Greeks believed to inhabit the British Isles. Following the Greek usage, the Romans referred to the Insulae Britannicae in the plural, consisting of Albion, Hibernia and many smaller islands. Over time, Albion came to be known as Britannia, the name for the group was subsequently dropped. Although emperor Claudius is attributed with the creation and unification of the province of Britannia in 43 AD, Julius Caesar had established Roman authority over the Southern and Eastern Britain dynasties during his two expeditions to the island in 55 and 54 BC. Just as Caesar himself had been an obside in Bithynia as a youth, he had taken the King's sons as obsides or hostages, back to Rome to be educated.
The Roman conquest of the island began in AD 43, leading to the establishment of the Roman province known in Latin as Britannia. The Romans never conquered the whole island, building Hadrian's Wall as a boundary with Caledonia, which covered the territory of modern Scotland, although the whole of the boundary marked by Hadrian's Wall lies within modern-day Northern England. A southern part of what is now Scotland was occupied by the Romans for about 20 years in the mid-2nd century AD, keeping in place the Picts to the north of the Antonine Wall. People living in the Roman province of Britannia were called Britons. Ireland, inhabited by the Scoti, was called Hibernia. Thule, an island "six days' sail north of Britain, near the frozen sea" Iceland, was never invaded by the Romans; the Emperor Claudius paid a visit while Britain was being conquered and was honoured with the agnomen Britannicus as if he were the conqueror. She appeared as a more regal-looking female figure. Britannia was soon personified as a goddess, looking similar to the goddess Minerva.
Early portraits of the goddess depict Britannia as a beautiful young woman, wearing the helmet of a centurion, wrapped in a white garment with her right breast exposed. She is shown seated on a rock, holding a spear, with a spiked shield propped beside her. Sometimes she leans on the shield. On another range of coinage, she is seated on a globe above waves: Britain at the edge of the world. Similar coin types were issued under Antoninus Pius. After the Roman withdrawal, the term "Britannia" remained in use in Britain and abroad. Latin was ubiquitous amongst native Brythonic writers and the term continued in the Welsh tradition that developed from it. Writing with variations on the term Britannia appeared in many Welsh works such as the Historia Britonum, Armes Prydein and the 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae, which gained unprecedented popularity throughout western Europe during the High Middle Ages. Following the migration of Brythonic Celts, the term Britannia came to refer to the Armorican peninsula (at least f
Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles referred to as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament. Acts and the Gospel of Luke make up a two-part work, Luke–Acts, by the same anonymous author dated to around 80–90 AD; the first part, the Gospel of Luke, tells how God fulfilled his plan for the world's salvation through the life and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah. Acts continues the story of Christianity in the 1st century, beginning with Jesus's ascension to Heaven; the early chapters, set in Jerusalem, describe the Day of Pentecost and the growth of the church in Jerusalem. The Jews are receptive to the Christian message, but soon they turn against the followers of Jesus. Rejected by the Jews, under the guidance of the Apostle Peter the message is taken to the Gentiles; the chapters tell of Paul's conversion, his mission in Asia Minor and the Aegean, his imprisonment in Rome, where, as the book ends, he awaits trial. Luke–Acts is an attempt to answer a theological problem, namely how the Messiah of the Jews came to have an overwhelmingly non-Jewish church.
Luke–Acts can be seen as a defense of the Jesus movement addressed to the Jews: the bulk of the speeches and sermons in Acts are addressed to Jewish audiences, with the Romans serving as external arbiters on disputes concerning Jewish customs and law. On the one hand, Luke portrays the Christians as a sect of the Jews, therefore entitled to legal protection as a recognised religion; the title "Acts of the Apostles" was first used by Irenaeus in the late 2nd century. It is not known whether this was one invented by Irenaeus; the Gospel of Luke and Acts make up a two-volume work. Together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution attributed to a single author, providing the framework for both the Church's liturgical calendar and the historical outline into which generations have fitted their idea of the story of Jesus and the early church. The author is not named in either volume. According to Church tradition dating from the 2nd century, he was the "Luke" named as a companion of the apostle Paul in three of the letters attributed to Paul himself.
The author "does not share Paul's own view of himself as an apostle. He was educated, a man of means urban, someone who respected manual work, although not a worker himself. While no proposed date for the composition of Acts is universally accepted, the most common scholarly position is to date Luke–Acts to 80-90 AD, on the grounds that it uses Mark as a source, looks back on the destruction of Jerusalem, does not show any awareness of the letters of Paul; the earliest possible date for the composition of Acts is set by the events with which it ends, Paul's imprisonment in Rome c. 63 AD, but such an early dating is a minority position. The last possible date would be set by its first definite citation by another author, but there is no unanimity on this. A minority of scholars in the latter camp, conclude that Acts dates to the 2nd century, believing that it shows awareness of the letters of Paul, the works of Josephus, or the writings of Marcion. There are two major textual variants of the Western text-type and the Alexandrian.
The oldest complete Alexandrian manuscripts date from the 4th century and the oldest Western ones from the 6th, with fragments and citations going back to the 3rd. Western texts of Acts are 6.2–8.4% longer than Alexandrian texts, the additions tending to enhance the Jewish rejection of the Messiah and the role of the Holy Spirit, in ways that are stylistically different from the rest of Acts. The majority of scholars prefer the Alexandrian text-type over the Western as the more authentic, but this same argument would favour the Western over the Alexandrian for the Gospel of Luke, as in that case the Western version is the shorter; the title "Acts of the Apostles" would seem to identify it with the genre telling of the deeds and achievements of great men, but it was not the title given by the author. The anonymous author aligned Luke–Acts to the "narratives" (διήγησ
Evangelicalism, evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide, transdenominational movement within Protestant Christianity which maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ's atonement. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the conversion or "born again" experience in receiving salvation, in the authority of the Bible as God's revelation to humanity, in spreading the Christian message; the movement has had a long presence in the Anglosphere before spreading further afield in the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries. Its origins are traced to 1738, with various theological streams contributing to its foundation, including English Methodism, the Moravian Church, German Lutheran Pietism. Preeminently, John Wesley and other early Methodists were at the root of sparking this new movement during the First Great Awakening. Today, evangelicals are found across many Protestant branches, as well as in various denominations not subsumed to a specific branch.
Among leaders and major figures of the evangelical Protestant movement were John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Bill Bright, Harold John Ockenga, John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The movement gained great momentum during the 18th and 19th centuries with the Great Awakenings in Great Britain and the United States. In 2016, there were an estimated 619 million evangelicals in the world, meaning that one in four Christians would be classified as evangelical; the United States has the largest concentration of evangelicals in the world. American evangelicals are a quarter of the nation's population and its single largest religious group. In Great Britain, evangelicals are represented in the Methodist Church, Baptist communities, among evangelical Anglicans; some evangelical Christian denominations are grouped together in the World Evangelical Alliance. The word evangelical has its etymological roots in the Greek word for "gospel" or "good news": εὐαγγέλιον euangelion, from eu "good", angel- the stem of, among other words, angelos "messenger, angel", the neuter suffix -ion.
By the English Middle Ages, the term had expanded semantically to include not only the message, but the New Testament which contained the message, as well as more the Gospels, which portray the life and resurrection of Jesus. The first published use of evangelical in English was in 1531, when William Tyndale wrote "He exhorteth them to proceed in the evangelical truth." One year Sir Thomas More wrote the earliest recorded use in reference to a theological distinction when he spoke of "Tyndale his evangelical brother Barns". During the Reformation, Protestant theologians embraced the term as referring to "gospel truth". Martin Luther referred to the evangelische Kirche to distinguish Protestants from Catholics in the Roman Catholic Church. Into the 21st century, evangelical has continued in use as a synonym for Protestant in continental Europe, elsewhere; this usage is reflected in the names of Protestant denominations, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In the English-speaking world, evangelical was applied to describe the series of revival movements that occurred in Britain and North America during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Christian historian David Bebbington writes that, "Although'evangelical', with a lower-case initial, is used to mean'of the gospel', the term'Evangelical', with a capital letter, is applied to any aspect of the movement beginning in the 1730s." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, evangelicalism was first used in 1831. The term may be used outside any religious context to characterize a generic missionary, reforming, or redeeming impulse or purpose. For example, the Times Literary Supplement refers to "the rise and fall of evangelical fervor within the Socialist movement". One influential definition of evangelicalism has been proposed by historian David Bebbington. Bebbington notes four distinctive aspects of evangelical faith: conversionism, biblicism and activism, noting, "Together they form a quadrilateral of priorities, the basis of Evangelicalism."Conversionism, or belief in the necessity of being "born again", has been a constant theme of evangelicalism since its beginnings.
To evangelicals, the central message of the gospel is justification by faith in Christ and repentance, or turning away, from sin. Conversion differentiates the Christian from the non-Christian, the change in life it leads to is marked by both a rejection of sin and a corresponding personal holiness of life. A conversion experience can be emotional, including grief and sorrow for sin followed by great relief at receiving forgiveness; the stress on conversion differentiates evangelicalism from other forms of Protestantism by the associated belief that an assurance of salvation will accompany conversion. Among evangelicals, individuals have testified to both gradual conversions. Biblicism is a high regard for biblical authority. All evangelicals believe in biblical inspiration, though they disagree over how this inspiration should be defined. Many evangelicals believe in biblical inerrancy, while other evangelicals believe in biblical infallibility. Crucicentrism is the centrality that evangelicals give to the Atonement, the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, that offers forgiveness of sins and new life.
This is understood most in terms of a substitutionary atonement, in which Christ died as a substitute for sinful humanity by takin