Exciting times

I’m nearing the end of upgrading of every aspect of the AIC’s presence online and I wanted to share this update with subscribers and users of the site. First, what’s been done.

The AIC Bookstore: The Gospel of …. Annotated & Illustrated series is almost complete. The Matthew volume is in the final stages of proofreading and could be available this Fall. The Acts of the Apostles: Annotated & Illustrated will be sent to KDP Publishing for production of print proof next week. The volume will have 224 pages and 77 illustrations, including maps, from the 9th to the 21st C. I believe it will be the first illustrated version of Acts ever produced. The link to order any AIC Bookstore Publication is: https://www.amazon.com/author/ronald-e-shibley.

The Podcast Archive: I am working on upgrading the MP3 Podcast versions of the soundtrack for the Bible Study, Christian Education & Seasonal video series. These podcasts are linked from either the Podcast Archive or Podcast Homilies pages on this site. All are hosted on our Podbean site, which I am in the process of updating to repair broken links and remove outdated material. I still need to record revised Podcast Homilies for all the Sundays in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer to make them fully cross-referenced to the bookstore, video and podcast libraries. I have finished the Advent, Christmas and first four in Epiphany season. With luck and Grace this can be done before the start of a new Church Year on the First Sunday in Advent.

The Digital Library: The Digital Library hosts links to all three categories of videos: Bible Study/Christian Education/Seasonal. These are all hosted on our Vimeo channel. I still need to update the links to the Revelation series for the Vimeo versions of Revelation/Nicene Creed/The Lord’s Prayer series. This month I’ve been working with Richard M. S. Irwin to produce a 2021 edition of Lessons & Carols for Christmas Eve. Richard is preparing ten new recordings.

As always, thank you for your interest and support. May God bless you in all that you do in His Name. Amen! Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Update and books and podcasts

Many apologies to followers of this blog. I’ve been so busy working on various projedts that I failed to use the Blog to keep you posted. There are several important items:

Podcasts: A user wanting to access the Podcasts for the revised version of Revelation: An Idealist Interpretation, pointed out that onl the links for Episode 1 and Episode 2 were working. After consulations with Podbean.com, our podcast host site, in which the cause of the lack of a working connection could not be found at their end, I removed all the links and started again, re-posting all 28 episodes. As Luke would have said, Behold. All the links are now working. In the process of fixing that problem, I discovered that the link to the video on the Podbean site still went to our former video vendor and not to our new host, Vimeo, and that I had not made new podcasts for Advent (2), Epiphany (3), Gesima (1), Lent (3), In the Cross of Christ I Glory (2), Easter (3) and Trinitytide (9), plus New Testament: Gospels (45) and The War on Christianity (5). Again: Behold! Over the last three days, I’ve made new MP3 files and uploaded them to Podbean and upgraded the associated text.

Books: Two books are currently in the works. The Gospel of Matthew: Annotated & Illustrated has been proofed and corrected through the start of Chapter 14. My proofreader and I have been able to do four chapters at a sitting. I am hopeful we can get the book into print this summer. It will have 262 pages with 117 illustrations. The Acts of the Apostles: Annotated & Illustrated has been written, all pictures selected and fitted into the text. I am currently editing the text before passing it along to my proofreader. I don’t see the finished work being available until Advent at the earliest. I hope readers will be pleased with the choice of illustrations from the 9th to the 21st C. There has never been an illuminated version of Acts, so I’ve had to search archives in the US, England and Europe, art galleries, museums and numerous vendors and photographers to located a combination of mosaics, frescoes, icons, engravings, paintings, watercolors, stained glass windows. There will be maps of Paul’s journeys plus 3 Appendices (The Holy Spirit in The Acts of the Apostles; Angels in The Acts of the Apostles; and a 12-page Glossary of about 190 names of people, cities, towns, provinces, countries, seas, and technical terms Luke uses in the NKJV text, with places cross-referenced to the maps).

Again, apologies to site followers for any inconvenience these oversights may have caused. The mission of the Anglican Internet Church remains unchanged and is listed on the back page of all sixteen of the AIC Bookstore Publications. Just a reminder: the complete link to all AIC Bookstore Publicatons offered through KDP Publishing is:

https://www.Amazon.com/author/ronald-e-shibley

Thank you for your interest and support. May God bless you in all that you do in His name! Amen. Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Book News & Other News

This month we move closer to completing the publication cycle of four unique books on the Gospels. The volume, on the Gospel of John,was the first to be completed,and is available in paperback and Kindle versions. The next book, on the Gospel of Luke, was published earlier this month. Volume Three, on the Gospel of Mark, should be available before the end of May. I am currently reviewing what I hope is the final proof copy. Volume Four, on the Gospel of Matthew, is currently about halfway through the process of being proofread. Once all four books are available, I will launch an advertising campaign via Amazon.com.

Other projects currently underway include a repurposing and redesign of The War on Christianity video series, which now has a new title, ending with … and Your Best Defense Against It. Episode One through Episode Five are now complete and available online. The remaining episodes will be produced later in the year. The later episodes will focus on the virtues of liturgical worship generally, followed by specific lessons/examples. I will discuss the use of the canticles in Morning Prayer and the practice of sung Holy Communion and sung Litany.

After many discussions with other clergy, in which I received some excellent suggestions, I have begun work on producing an illustrated edition of The Acts of the Apostles. My research indicated that there is little to nothing in print that is similar in either design or content of the four Gospel books. In the coming months, I will preview the content of the book in this blog. Abp. Peter Robinson kindly suggested a possible subject for the cover, Further reseach resulted in the location of a 14th C. opening page; a 17th C. icon, a tempera on wood icon from the 2nd Qtr, 15th C. and an early 11th C. mosaic.

Finally, I’ve continued with the planned upgrading of the Podcast Homilies series, last updated in A.D. 2018. The work is about 70% complete and I hope to start recording during the coming summer.

As always, I thank you for your interest and support. Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Podcast Updates Coming This Summer

I know it’s barely Spring but I’ve been working out what projects to attempt in the coming Summer. My thinking was sparked by two events: a chance meeting last Sunday at Good Shepherd Anglican, Wayneboro, VA, and the number of notices of new viewers/reader following this blog. What was said at Waynesboro encouraged me greatly. The person involved had been following my work from my days as Rector at the now-closed St. John Chrysostom Anglican Church in Richmond, VA. He’d seen the live broadcasts of service via one of the earliest streaming services, UStream, and was aware of the later development of The Anglican Internet Church programs, which led to the creation of this web site. Knowing that there are people out there buying AIC Bookstore Publications and watching the rebuilt videos via our new host site at Vimeo.com makes the continued efforts to upgrade all the features of of this site more meaningul.

Before I share the news of what’s next, let me quickly review what’s happened so far since last Fall: First, the updating of all 45 episodes in the New Testament: Gospels; the 8 episodes in The Nicene Creed; both episodes of The Lord’s Prayer: Phrase-by-phrase; all but one of Seasonal Video series for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, “Gesima,” Lent, Good Friday, Easter and Trinitytide; and the first episode in the revised version of The War on Christianity are now available through links on either the Bible Study/New Testament or Digital Library pages. Second, the publication of the first two of the four books in The Gospel of… series. The two completed books are The Gospel of John: Annotated.& Illustrated and The Gospel of Luke: Annotated & Illustrated. Both books are available in paperback and Kindle editions (with the Kindle version offering a facsimile of the pages of the print version). The Gospel of Mark: Annotated & Illustrated is ready to go to print pending receipt of a single image from a library in Germany. Once I receive the image, I can have the book in print within a week. The final book, the longest in the series, The Gospel of Matthew: Annotated & Illustrated has just started the proofing process using an 8.5 x 11 printed page format. I don’t anticipate completion before midsummer. The missing Seasonal Video is Lessons & Carols for Christmas Eve, but the wait should prove worthwhile. The revised version will have new music produced for us. Finally, I’ve nearly completed the modification of this site to build upon the WATCH-LISTEN-READ initiative I announced earlier this year.

That final item provides a nice transition into the announcement of what’s coming this summer: I’ve already started a new project to upgrade all the Podcast Homiles series and the Podcast versions of all the series I mentioned earlier. The upgrades will include enhanced cross-references to Other AIC Resources based on the 2021 versions. I have no timetable and don’t expect to have the Advent and Christmas revisions ready until some time in late May or early June.

Thanks for your continued interest and support. Again, I urge you to find a local Anglican Church where you can receive Holy Communion. If that is not possible in your area owing to state and federal restrictions, I suggest you find a clergyman willing to provide Holy Communion based on the Visitation of the Sick in the 1928 B.C.P.

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

An Announcement

The AIC Christian Education Video series, The War on Christianity, is being reconfigured as part of our celebration of the start of the AIC’s second decade on the Web. It not only gets a new title but also enhanced content, including many new images, and a new purpose. The series will become a more important component of the AIC’s commitment to teaching traditional Christianity. The entire series is getting a new voice track and a facelift, with the design consistent with the other updates to our Seasonal, Bible Study and other Christian Education series. Episodes will continue to be linked from the Digital Library page.

Episode One remains a general introduction to the threat, with data and examples from the news updated to early A.D. 2021, plus an illustrated update on what the AIC has been doing on the Web since the series began in A.D. 2017. Episode Two and Episode Three remain focused on “A Summary History of the Church from Pentecost until Now,” which is intended to help viewers put the new threat into historical context. Episode Four and Episode Five continue to be focused upon three case studies of the decline of the Church in parts of the world where it was once the dominant religion: the Holy Land, North Africa and Asia Minor.

Episode Six will be the first episode with entirely new content focused on the importance of traditional worship tied to the Anglican Church Calendar and the liturgies in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (American Edition, as amended in 1943). Topics to be discussed in later episodes, beginning with Episode Seven, include a broad exploration of the best uses of the canticles in the 1928 B.C.P. plus liturgical techniques, particularly the Anglican style of sung Holy Communion and sung Litany and the Creeds of the Church. Taken together, and, hopefully, internalized in the hearts and minds of the faithful, these traditional forms of worship are the best possible defense against the secular world’s War on Christianity.

THE NICENE CREED

The greatest creed of the Christian Church has been the whipping boy for revisionist intepretation for long enough. With the completion of the 2021 A.D. update, the AIC Christian Education Video series, The Nicene Creed, I discuss how and why the Council of Nicea came to meet at the resort town of Nicea in 325 A.D. According to Church historian Eusebius, it was the Emperor Constantine himself who rescued the First Ecumentical Council from failure. The 318 bishops and priests in attendance gave the world the definitive explanation of the most essential doctrines of the Church Universal (amended only at the Council of Constantinope, 381 A.D., which is discussed in Episodes 7 and 8.

In the series, I point out that the Nicene Creed is not the cause of heresy but the Church’s answer to the most common heresies of the 1st through the 4th C. The theme music, performed on his Church organ in England by Richard M. S. Irwin, is Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty,” written in 1826 by Reginald Heber and arranged to Nicaea, composed by John B. Dykes in 1861 A.D.

The Nicene Creed series is now available in eight episodes. The 2021 Edition includes many changes and enhancements, including illustrations from the 3rd through the early 20th C. and cross-references to Other AIC Resources, including video and podcast series and publications from the AIC Bookstore. Viewers will find additional information about the images used in the series, many of which were not explained in the earlier versions. Some images are displayed in different versions than those found in the earlier version, including a more complete history of one of the most famous images, Christ Pantokrator, found in the South Gallery of the Hagia Sophia.

The title image is a 17th C. tempera and gold on panel icon in the Russian Orthodox tradition in which the doctrines are illuminated by scenes in the life of Jesus Christ. Segments from the icon are used in the explanation of the images in the top row, which include God the Father, “maker of heaven and earth” seated enthroned surrounded by ten colored circles filled with angels. Note that the Orthodox have remained faithful to the early Church prohibition against depictions of God the Father in human form. He is shown as a duplicate image of God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ), based on John (“He who sees Me sees Him who sent Me” John 12:45). The Lord Jesus Christ occupies the center of the top tier and, at right, is Christ Emmanuel, also surrounded by colored circles.

In these eight revised episodes I have incorporated a wide range of images from both the Western and Eastern Church traditions, including frescoes, icons, engravings, watercolors, paintings and documents from the 2nd-3rd C. through the 20th C., plus a scattering of material from the early 21st C. All eight episodes are linked from the Digital Library page, where they are found at the bottom of the page under the heading Christian Education Videos. Podcast versions of these and other video episodes produced this year will be created and linked from the Podcast Archive page during April.

Episode One
the historical background and identity of the major actors
Episode Two
“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth”
Episode Three
“and of all things, visible and invisible.”
Episode Four
“In one Lord Jesus Christ” through “being of one substance with the Father”
Episode Five
“by whom all things were made” through “He suffered and was buried.”
Episode Six
“And the third day He rose again” through “And whose kingdom shall have no end.”
Episode Seven
“And I believe in the Holy Ghost” through “worshipped and glorified.”
Episode Eight
“who spake by the prophets” through “Amen.”

The next video updates are changes and improvements in The Lord’s Prayer: Phrase-by-phrase (2 episodes); The War on Christianity (7 episodes); The Great “O” Antiphons (7 episodes); and the single episode program Lessons and Carols for Christmas Eve.

As always, thank you for your interest and support. Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Unique Themes, Details, & Events in the Gospel of John

Episode Thirty-nine (2nd half) through Episode Forty-five in New Testament: Gospels are now available using links on the Bible Study/New Testament pages. Publication of these episodes completes the Fourth Edition in the series. Topics included in these episodes, in the order in which they are discussed in the series, are:

Spiritual Themes
including Light vs. Darkness; Good vs. Evil (or in different contexts True vs. False/Truth vs. Falsehood); Life vs. Death (or Heavenly vs. Earthly

Four Details
The Emotions of Jesus; the Use of Numerology; Meaning of “the Jews”, a phrase used often in the Gospel of John but with different meanings; Prophecy spoken by Jesus.

Unique Mentions of Places and People
Samaria and Cana; the Samaritan Woman at the Well of Jacob; Nathanael, Thomas, Philip, Andrew; Peter, Nicodemus, Judas Iscariot, and Mary Magdalene.

Unique Details
The Plotting of the Pharisees and Chief Priests; the announcement of a New Commandment; the frequent use of “abide” (Greek: meno); the Final Discourse with the Disciples; References to the Son of Man being “lifted up”; the Divine Economy; Jesus’ References to Concepts of Time; References to the Kingdom of God and the fate of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Five Unique Events
the Visit of Nicodemus; Restoration of the Woman Taken in Adultery; Foot Washing on Maundy Thursday evening; the Scriptural Origin of the Sacrament of Confession/Penance; and Jesus’ Breakfast with the Disciples on the Sea of Tiberias/Sea of Galilee.

As noted above, these final episodes bring to a close the updating of the Bible Study Video series on the New Testament Gospels. Every slide in the series was adjusted or changed in some way, with a new logo for the Fourth Edition, many new illustrations, and enhanced cross-reference to “Other AIC Resources,” the latter as part of the Learn More Your Way: WATICH/LISTEN/READ initiative.

The next series to be upgraded is The Nicene Creed, an eight-episode production originally issued in 2016 A.D. The revised version also includes more cross-references, many new illustrations chosen from the archive used for the AIC Bookstore Publications: the four illustrated books in The Gospel of… series.

Updates to the AIC Web Site continue with the objective of creating a more user-friendly, that is, more functional in implementing the WATCH/LISTEN/READ initiative.

The Seven Signs in the Gospel of John

Episodes Thirty-six to Episode Thirty-nine in the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, are now linked from the Bible Study/New Testament pages. They are focused on the Seven “Signs” in the Gospel of John. In the series I explain a possible reason St. John called these seven incidents, five of which are unique to his Gospel, instead of the “miracle” preferred in other accounts.

The seven examples of signs reflect the spirituality of John the Evangelist and Theologian. It comes down to a simple question: What Do They Mean, or Signify? rather than what they are. All seven, the first five recorded only by St. John, are questionably miraculous. More importantly, what they signify, that is of what are they the sign, is the Divinity of Jesus Christ, for no man, no matter how gifted as a thaumaturg, the Greek term for one who heals by touch, could have turned water into wine, raised Lazarus from the Dead, or fed more than 5,000 people with a few few and loaves of bread.

The seven signs in the Gospel of John are, with those unique to the Gospel of John listed first and in order:

The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11)
The Healing of the Nobleman’s Son (John 4:46-54)
The Healing of the Paralytic Man (John 5:1-15)
The Healing of the Man Born Blind (John 9:1-41)
The Raising of Lazarus (John 11:38-44)

Two events also mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels:
The Feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1-14)
Jesus Walking on the Sea (John 6:15-21)

These seven events are richly illustrated in The Gospel of John: Annotated & Illustrated, available using the Virtual Bookstore link on the Home page.

Episode Thirty-nine also includes the first of seven presentations on Unique Themes, Details and Events in the Gospel of John, beginning with three spiritual themes: Light vs. Darkness; Good vs. Evil (or Truth vs. Falsehood) and Life vs. Death (or Heaven vs. Earth). The remaining episodes will be discussed in blog posting tomorrw.

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

The Divine I Ams

In Episode Twenty-nine through Episode Thirty-five in the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, now linked on the Bible Study/New Testament page, I explore twelve examples of Jesus’ use of the Greek ego eimi, I Am, to demonstrate that He is the same I Am who spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 3:13, 14: “I Am the Existing One” (SAAS text). Based on Greek sources, in these seven episodes I go beyond the traditional Western Church recognition of the number of I Am declarations. Early Church context and commentary is provided for each usage. The Fourth Edition of the series includes new illustrations and expanded commentary and cross-reference to Other AIC Resources, including the new book, The Gospel of John: Annotated & Illustrated, which is the first of four Gospel books to be published in the AIC Bookstore.

I Am [He] Who speaks to thee (to the Samaritan Woman at the Well of Jacob) – John 4:26
I Am. Fear Not (calming words to the Disciples at Sea) – John 6:20 (Greek text 6:27b)
I Am the Bread of Life – John 6:35, 48
I Am the Living Bread – John 6:51
I Am the Light of the World – John 8:12
I Am from Above – John 8:23
Before Abraham was, I Am – John 8:58
I Am the Door – John 10:7, 9
I Am the Good Shepherd – John 10:11, 14
I Am the Resurrection & the Life (to Martha of Bethany) – John 11:25
I Am the Way, the Truth & the Life (to Martha of Bethany) – John 14:6
I Am the True Vine (to the Disciples on Maundy Thursday) – John 15:1

In the next group of episodes, Thirty-six to Thirty-nine, I explore the Seven Signs in the Gospel of John, five of which are unique to the Gospel of John.

The Gospel of John

The first four episodes focused on the Gospel of John in the Fourth Edition of the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, are now linked from the New Testament page. Episode 26 introduces the Gospel of John with a discussion of John, his intended audiences, language and major and secondary themes. Episodes 27 and 28 are focused on John’s unique Prelude in Chapter 1, plus the calling of the first four disciples. The events takes place over a series of four days. Episode 29 is the first of seven episodes focused on the “I Am” declarations which are unique to the Gospel of John, beginning with the first, heard in Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the Well of Jacob. Illustrations are from the 6th through the 20th C.

The upgrading of the New Testament: Gospels series is proceeding faster than I originally anticipated. I am hopeful of completion of all remaining updates before Good Friday.