Director of “Oracles of God” Discusses First Movie Installment
THE ORACLES OF GOD
“What advantage has the Jew? Much in every way! For to them were committed the Oracles of God.” – Romans 3:1-2/
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The Oracles of God is a series of feature-length docudramas about the creation and canonization of the Bible. Featuring expert interviews, a cast of hundreds across three continents, and narration by actor Iain Glen (Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones), the project follows the history and archaeology behind the best-selling book of all-time. CBN Films is planning four parts:
- The Story of the Old Testament (now available)
- The New Testament (filming Summer 2023, release tentatively scheduled for Fall 2024)
- The Canon (Fall 2025)
- The Manuscripts (Fall 2026)
THE OLDEST WRITTEN LANGUAGE
The Bible, spanning 1,500 years and written in multiple languages by various authors, is believed to be guided by the Holy Spirit to convey God's truth on theology, history, and ethics.
The Hebrew Bible, known as the Old Testament, consists of three sections:
• The Law: The first five books, also called the Torah/Pentateuch.
• The Prophets: Including Joshua, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and more.
• The Writings: Wisdom Literature containing Psalms, Proverbs, Job, etc.
Moses is traditionally credited as the author of the Law, with evidence supporting his familiarity with the world's first alphabet. However, Moses couldn't have been the sole author, as his death is recorded. It is likely the Torah originated with Moses, with later editors adding their own contributions.
Around 1000 BCE, during King David's time, the Torah and Hebrew traditions were compiled into book form. Scribes recorded the songs of David, including many Psalms attributed to him. King Hezekiah continued editing and compiling sacred texts around 800 BCE.
The world's oldest biblical text, dating to this period, contains the Priestly Benediction found in Numbers 6:24-26:
"May the Lord bless you and keep you...
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."
In 587 BCE, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar exiled the Hebrews to Babylon. During the exile, scribes copied manuscripts extensively due to the availability of materials.
After 70 years, the Jewish people were allowed to return from exile. Ezra, a skilled scribe, copied the Torah and collected historical, prophetic, and other writings. Ezra aimed to revive Hebrew language, customs, and knowledge of the laws.
The Torah was translated into Greek in the 3rd century BCE, known as the Septuagint (LXX). It became the Bible for Jews outside the Holy Land and was often quoted in the New Testament. The Greek Orthodox Church still uses the LXX.
And while the Septuagint was probably the biggest translation job ever undertaken in the world, it brings up the question about accuracy. No translation is ever completely accurate, but a scholars will note that a word-for-word translation wasn’t necessarily the goal of the Septuagint project. Some parts are, in fact, very literal and close to the original Hebrew as could be rendered into the Greek. Others have been paraphrased to make the Hebrew text more intelligible or understandable. Scholars will also point out that the first Christians believed that the Septuagint was an accurate and faithful representation of what was said and what was meant in the original texts.
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
In 1947, Bedouin shepherds discovered scrolls and fragments in Qumran caves. The Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to the 1st century BCE and 1st century AD, provide insights into Jewish beliefs during Jesus' time. Comparisons with later Biblical manuscripts reveal remarkable similarities, indicating the accurate preservation of language.
The authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls formed a community in Qumran. Every letter and word in a scroll was counted, allowing up to three mistakes per page. Failure to correct them led to burning the entire manuscript.
Despite Roman campaigns against the Jews, the Dead Sea Scrolls survived while other artifacts were lost.
The discovery began with shepherds selling fragments to a shopkeeper. Professor Sukenik, an archaeologist, recognized their significance in 1947, coinciding with the UN vote for Israel's independence. His son later remarked, “It’s as if these manuscripts had been waiting in caves for two thousand years, since the destruction of Israel's independence, until the people of Israel had returned to their home and regained their freedom.”
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For more information regarding Oracles of God please visit www.cbnfilms.com.
Mother of Seven Offers Moms Spiritual Refreshment
Your children do not belong to you. Instead, they belong to the Lord who knew your child before they were ever born, and He has a specific plan for their life. “Your role is to lay the foundation for your children to walk into God’s design for their lives,” shares Victoria.
There are times in her parenting journey that Victoria has tried to take things into her own hands. She did not pray about big decisions and let her emotions take over. For example, when Victoria’s daughter suffered from unexplained seizures it took a toll on her. For years, she suffered with deep depression as she lived in fear of the seizures returning which could lead to irreversible and deadly consequences. She spent many nights watching the baby monitor to ensure that her daughter was not harmed on her watch. One day in desperation she cried out to God, and He spoke to her heart. He revealed that she no longer needed to parent in fear, but that she could trust Him no matter the outcome. God healed her daughter who has been seizure free for over a decade. Victoria reminds us, “It is when we surrender our parenting to God and rely on Him for instruction, we can find true peace and joy.”
In the Bible, a mom with a plan was Jochebed who is mentioned in Exodus 1:8-22. She hid Moses for three months as a baby to avoid being killed by the King of Egypt. Then she put him in a papyrus basket and coated it with tar and pitch. She placed him in the Nile among the reeds and watched from a far until he could be discovered by the pharaoh’s daughter. Jochebed had a plan and she trusted that the Lord would protect her son. Little did Jochebed know her strategic plan and follow through didn’t just save an infant, but it changed a nation for generations to come.
In your parenting journey, take the time to ask God to reveal His plans for your children. Write out the plan God gives you so you can have a clear starting point to pray into their God-given destinies. “If we don’t create a plan for our children, the Enemy will,” shares Victoria. A few years ago, Victoria noticed a change in her daughter’s behavior. She went from being chipper and engaging to cold and distant. She had lost her joy in the things that use to bring her happiness like painting and dancing. Many told her to give her daughter space, but Victoria sought the Lord for what to do. She reread what she had written down about her daughter months earlier: “He created her to make beautiful moments through art.”
Victoria enrolled her daughter in ballet class several days later. Over the next few months, she saw the Lord soften her daughter’s heart and her joy returned. “God’s vision of her creating through art is literally unfolding before my eyes, but it didn’t just happen. It took prayer and action.”
As you develop your war plan for each child in your family, remember to include:
• A foundational verse to stand on.
• A mission statement that consists of what God has spoken about your child.
• Child specific goals that focus on current needs, character development or long-term desires. For example, Victoria’s son was struggling with his homework. She would often find him in tears because he was having a hard time with reading. Her goals she set for him were to instill resilience and joy in the learning process.
• Non-negotiable things that are not allowed, tolerated, or promoted in your home.
As a mother, your primary responsibility is to love and reflect God’s heart for His children. In Jesus’ relationship with His disciples, He showed His love for them in three ways: being consistent, being a source of comfort, and bringing correction.” As a mother, your parenting style should be the same with your children.
It is also important to be aware of how you are parenting. “If we want to change the way we parent, we must first change how we think,” shares Victoria. “Our thoughts can either be grounded in God’s truth or in the deception of what we believe is true.” For many years, Victoria was plagued with defeated thinking. Although she knew the Word, she felt like she was parenting alone. She screamed her way through parenting and apologized for angry outbursts until she began replacing defeated thoughts with the truth of God’s Word. For example, “I am a mother in need of God’s grace daily” vs. “I’m a bad mother.” Or “In my areas of weakness, God is strong” vs. “I am not enough.”
Other parenting tips Victoria offers include don’t scream at your children, don’t talk down to them, be intentional, love them beyond their flaws, and ask their forgiveness when needed.
As a preacher's granddaughter, Victoria grew up surrounded by Christian ideas. However, she spent many years confused about who God was and what it meant for her. At the age of 19, she accepted Christ and was baptized. Since then, she has served as an assistant youth minister, middle school coordinator, and MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) assistant coordinator. Together with her husband, Joe, they launched a new church plant called Enlighten Church in Stafford, Virginia.
Currently, she is the Co-Pastor and Worship Leader within their church. She is also a Professor of Social and Developmental Psychology at Toccoa Falls College, Crown College, and Oral Roberts University. She also speaks at local mom's groups and ministers to churches in the DC area through worship. “My true passion is that every person I encounter experiences the love of Christ. I believe that God's desire is that every person become one who can walk in true victory,” shares Victoria. “He has delivered me from depression, suicidal thoughts, fear, and so much more.”
To find out more about Victoria Riollano's ministry, please visit: www.victoryspeaks.org and to purchase Victoria Riollano's book, click here: "Mother Warrior."
"Forgive and Live Free."
“We were all hiding in a closet in the back room. He was standing at the doorway, and he said, ‘Come out or I'm coming in.’ There was just such that sense of dread like, "This is it. This is the night we die.” For seven long years Victor Marx endured abuse from his stepdad that included physical, mental, and sexual torture. He recalls, “It made me really in a sense give up any hope for anything else and realize that this was my life. You just accept it.” The one bright spot in his week was going to church on Sundays with his mom and siblings. Though a safe place, church also brought more confusion. He says, “Because of the abuse coming from a father figure, I never could really relate to God as a loving father. Who I liked was Jesus.”
However, in Victor’s eyes, Jesus was weak. That is until the night Victor, his mom, and siblings cowered in a closet as his drunk stepdad threatened them with a handgun. Victor’s mom prayed to Jesus for protection. He recalls, “My stepfather tried to come into the room and he couldn't. He literally was physically restrained. I know that my perspective of Jesus changed after that night, and the main thing is I realized he was alive.”
Eventually his stepdad passed out. The family escaped to a neighbor’s house and never returned. The next several years were chaotic – his mom married four more times and Victor bounced between more than two dozen different homes and schools. Meanwhile, his anger and hatred towards his abusive stepdad only grew stronger. He says, “I certainly had suppressed anger. I started drugs early as a kid, because of pain. There'd be moments of temporary relief, but the real problems never went away.”
His stepdad wasn’t the only person Victor blamed for his pain. Victor recalls, “I was angry at my real dad because I'm like, ‘Why don't you come and save us out of this?’ Instead of him being a source of hope, he was a source of anger for me.” After high school, Victor joined the Marines for stability, camaraderie, and most importantly, to escape his family. He also started training in martial arts to help control his rage. He says, “It helped me build a sense of restraint where I didn't always have to take my anger out on somebody. Because as a kid I was like, ‘One day, no one's going to be able to hurt me again.’ The main thing missing in my life was just peace.”
Then, when he was 20, Victor got a letter from his biological dad apologizing for his absence from Victor’s life. It also said he had become a Christian and invited Victor to church. The two spoke and Victor accepted the invitation. He recalls, “I could tell he cared about me. There was something that was changed about him. And then he started sharing his story of coming to faith, and it was compelling.” Inspired, Victor ran to the front of the church at the end of the service. He says, “And I remember falling at my knees, just crying. I felt my sin, and at the same time I felt God's love for me. I had never felt love until that moment in my life. That's when I surrendered my life to Christ.”
Now growing in his faith, Victor forgave his father. They became best friends and Victor even asked his dad to be his best man at his wedding. He says, “God did such a beautiful reconciliation. I eventually came to that place where I gave up my right to hurt my dad back for hurting me, by not being there.” Through counseling and prayer, Victor found healing from many of his past traumas. However, there was one thing he refused to face: the anger and unforgiveness towards his abusive stepfather – something he would carry for another 20 years. Until one day, he gave in to God’s prompting. Victor recalls, “I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying, ‘Go find him. You've got to show him my love. Love your enemies.’ I go, ‘I don't love this guy.’"
After weeks of searching, Victor found his stepdad, sick and living in a trailer. Victor took him to a hospital where they learned he had cancer and only weeks to live. Victor recalls, “I'm like, ‘Well, he's no longer a threat. He can't hurt anybody,’ right? And that's when I really felt God saying, ‘Yeah, you've got to fully forgive him and show him my love.’ So, I would go into the hospital and read scripture to him. I don't even know if he was listening because he was so hard-hearted still. I remember thinking, ‘He doesn't deserve my forgiveness.’ I really heard the gentle voice of God through his spirit say, ‘Neither do you, but I forgave you.’ And that's when I realized, okay, I can't hold this anger against him."
Finally, Victor chose to forgive his stepdad and continued to visit him regularly. Then one morning Victor recalls visiting his step dad and, “He goes, ‘Nurse, this is my son. I'm proud of him.’ And then I was stunned. I never heard that. He said, ‘He's been worried about my eternity, but he doesn't have to worry anymore.’ He said, ‘I made it right with God last night.’ I said, ‘Dad, I love you.’ And he looked right back at me and he said, ‘Boy, I love you, too.’ I would have never thought that hearing him say he loved me would have felt so good, never. And man, did it ever. It healed, just those words, ‘I love you too, boy,’ those words healed something in my soul.”
That was the last visit they had. His stepdad died a short time later. Victor says, “Sometimes God will require believers to go to their worst enemy and be the living presence of God, to obey and do whatever, and love them, so that they know God has forgiven them.”
Victor rejoices that today he is free from the burdens of his traumatic past. He loves to share how God’s love changed his life and wants others to know the joy that forgiveness brings. He says, “Come to know Christ. See Him redeem the worst of your past because He can redeem it all. It frees us; not only them, but it frees us. You walk free of carrying this baggage of bitterness and hatred. Forgive and live free.”
To find out more about Victor Marx and his ministry please visit: victormarx.com and iamvictormarx.com.
An Overflow of Blessings
Greg Gargus is the founder of Prochem Scientific and a committed family-man. As Greg’s widowed mother got older and needed more medical attention, that meant more responsibility on Greg and his wife, Karen.
She says, “I respect him because he took that full-on commitment. You know, he was involved in every part of his mom's care.”
He ultimately had to let go of all of his contracts but one to tend to his mom, leaving many questions about their financial future.
“We learned to live on a significantly reduced income, and it was gradually sliding down,” Greg declares.
Karen shares one of her questions, “Do we have what we're going to need to maintain our life once we were both retired?”
“So. we ended up cutting out a lot of unnecessary items from our monthly budget,” Greg says.
Still, they never stopped tithing.
Karen explains, “Being faithful to the Lord, we just – that's too risky to stop tithing. That's part of our lives.”
Greg says, “The giving continued because I wanted to alert God to the fact that we had needs. I'm committed to this family matter, and I was seeking Him diligently in the meantime.”
After Greg’s mother passed in late 2018, he gradually began working on ideas to get his business rolling again. Then the pandemic hit.
“I had about a close to $20,000-a-year loss that was occurring for the first time ever,” Greg shares.
However, the couple continued to tithe and pray for God to intervene.
“I needed His guidance. I needed direction,” Greg admits.
Finally, Greg got a new contract and knew exactly what he wanted to do with the first payment—start giving to CBN again.
Greg passionately proclaims, “I took what was in my hand, that $500, and I took the entire thing and planted it and sowed it into Operation Blessing.”
“Operation Blessing does so much for people in need,” explains Karen. “Pandemic, tornadoes, hurricanes, natural disasters, Operation Blessing is there. And it's usually one of the first ones on scene.”
So, Karen sent the check, along with this letter from Greg:
“To celebrate what the Lord has done in opening a door, I plan to send my first month's pay of $500 to Operation Blessing to help CBN minister to the needing and hurting,” Greg reads.
Within two weeks, business and income picked up even more.
“It was a miracle because the phones were dead. And all of a sudden, he was hearing from clients,” says Karen.
Greg expounds, “I was working from sundown to sunset. It was just like a dam broke, and it was just a burst! I don’t want it to stop. Every month since then, I've just been taking that $500 consulting check and just plowing it right back into CBN.”
Greg and Karen encourage others to give, too.
“When you give to CBN, you know your money is going to go to promote the kingdom of God,” Karen explains.
“Even though the matters of your own circumstances may be very difficult, don't hold back,” Greg concludes. “From, ‘Give to the poor, and you won't lack.’"
CBN’s impact around the world
Daily prayers for people across the country
CBN’s prayer team prayed with over 1.2 million callers in 2022 alone, while also praying with people through email, social media channels, live chat on the website, and written correspondence.
Highlighting testimonies of God’s faithfulness
Vida Dura or “Hard Life” stories are sourced throughout Latin America and produced in Spanish to reach a region with testimonies of people who hit rock bottom and turn to God for change. CBN has a prayer center in Latin America to support people through prayer and faith resources.
Serving in the wake of natural disasters
CBN's Operation Blessing was on the ground quickly in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, providing much-needed food, relief supplies, and medical aid. After large-scale natural disasters, Operation Blessing strives to be the first to arrive, and the last to leave, tending to the needs long after the news cameras leave.
Ukraine and Poland
For 30 years, CBN has been serving the people of Ukraine
Through CBN’s Orphan’s Promise and Operation Blessing, we were able to quickly provide valuable resources soon after the conflict began, and we continue to support Ukrainian refugees.
Projected 135 million* watched a CBN program in 2022
CBN partners are reaching children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus through Superbook, a Bible-based animation series. In 2022 alone, children in 139 countries watched at least one episode of Superbook.
Bible Reading for the Day
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