Religion Today Summaries, December 10, 2002

Religion Today Summaries, December 10, 2002

In Today's Edition:

  • Authenticity of Inscription on James Burial Box Debated
  • US to Host Sudanese Peace Talks
  • 'Hurt' Woman Sues Healing Preacher
  • Zig Ziglar Receives American Inspirations Award

Authenticity of Inscription on James Burial Box Debated
(Baptists Press) Apparent differences in the handwriting in the inscription on the limestone box believed to be the most significant biblical archeological discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls have led critics to suggest that a forger could have added the phrase about Jesus.  The inscription appears to be written in two different hands, the critics say.  The first phrase, "James, son of Joseph," was written in a formal script while the second, "brother of Jesus," is a more free-flowing cursive style, according to The New York Times Dec. 3.  Experts discussed the validity of the inscription at a conference of biblical and archaeological researchers in Toronto.  Andre Lemaire, the French specialist in Aramaic who first proposed the inscription's connection to Jesus, defended its authenticity at the conference.  The limestone box is scheduled to return to Israel at the conclusion of its exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto at the end of December.

US to Host Sudanese Peace Talks

(Voice of the Martyrs) The United States is inviting officials of the Sudanese government and southern rebels to Washington next month for talks aimed toward a peace agreement. Peace talks in Kenya recessed last week and are to resume in early January. The U.S. describes the Washington meetings as "seminars" aimed to narrow differences between the government and rebels on key issues including power sharing and dividing the country's oil wealth. The meetings are scheduled to be held before peace talks resume in Kenya January 6th. An estimated two million people have died in fighting or war-related famine in the conflict that pits the government in the predominately-Muslim north against Christians and animists in the south.

'Hurt' Woman Sues Healing Preacher

(Charisma News) A Cleveland woman who claims that she was hurt while taking her sick mother to see TV evangelist Ernest Angley has sued the charismatic healing preacher.  In a lawsuit filed last Tuesday, Gloria DeFrancesco, 61, says she took her ailing 94-year-old mother to Angley seeking a healing prayer in August 2001, but the minister's workers allegedly blocked them from the stage and assaulted her in the process, "The Akron Beacon Journal" reported.  DeFrancesco is seeking more than $25,000 in damages from Angley, his ministry and six employees.  She claims she suffered a detached retina when the workers assaulted her as she tried to take her mother on stage for a prearranged healing session with Angley. DeFrancesco alleges her injuries required a hospital stay and surgery, and she suffered "severe pain, emotional and psychological trauma."  The newspaper said besides church members, people nationwide come to the Ohio community to attend Angley's services. "God has endowed Reverend Angley with special gifts to bring healing for soul, mind and body to the multitudes," Angley's Web site says. "He does not claim to be a healer but a witness to the marvelous healing power of Christ." Charisma News Service could not reach Angley for a comment.

Zig Ziglar Receives American Inspirations Award

(The Envoy Group) Best-selling author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar has been named as recipient of the American Inspirations Award for December 2002.  The Presidential Prayer Team presents the award each month to a person whose faith in public life serves as an inspiration to all Americans.  Ziglar, known for his inspirational speeches and training, grew up during the Great Depression.  He began working at age nine to support his family.  He quickly discovered a talent for selling things that led to his successful career as a salesman.  He credits his faith with keeping him going through the struggles of life.  Ziglar has been chosen for the award because of the bold manner in which he lives out his faith, and for the contribution he has made to millions through sharing his principles for living a better life.  Asked about the importance of prayer and faith, Ziglar said, “I believe that continuing the process our Founding Fathers followed to create a great and godly nation will enable us to restore America and fulfill their dream and intent.  It is rewarding to be able to commune with the Creator on behalf of our country, its leadership, and those who love and serve Him.”