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Disasters pose a documented risk to mental health, with a range of peri- and post-disaster factors (both pre-existing and disaster-precipitated) linked to adverse outcomes. Among these, increasing empirical attention is being paid to the relation between disasters and violence.
This study examined self-reported experiences of assault or violence victimisation among communities affected by high, medium, and low disaster severity following the 2009 bushfires in Victoria, Australia. The association between violence, mental health outcomes and alcohol misuse was also investigated.
Participants were 1016 adults from high-, medium- and low-affected communities, 3–4 years after an Australian bushfire disaster. Rates of reported violence were compared by areas of bushfire-affectedness. Logistic regression models were applied separately to men and women to assess the experience of violence in predicting general and fire-related post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and alcohol misuse.
Reports of experiencing violence were significantly higher among high bushfire-affected compared with low bushfire-affected regions. Analyses indicated the significant relationship between disaster-affectedness and violence was observed for women only, with rates of 1.0, 0 and 7.4% in low, medium and high bushfire-affected areas, respectively. Among women living in high bushfire-affected areas, negative change to income was associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing violence (odds ratio, 4.68). For women, post-disaster violence was associated with more severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms.
Women residing within high bushfire-affected communities experienced the highest levels of violence. These post-disaster experiences of violence are associated with post-disaster changes to income and with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms among women. These findings have critical implications for the assessment of, and interventions for, women experiencing or at risk of violence post-disaster.
We combine two scanning electron microscopy techniques to investigate the influence of dislocations on the light emission from nitride semiconductors. Combining electron channeling contrast imaging and cathodoluminescence imaging enables both the structural and luminescence properties of a sample to be investigated without structural damage to the sample. The electron channeling contrast image is very sensitive to distortions of the crystal lattice, resulting in individual threading dislocations appearing as spots with black–white contrast. Dislocations giving rise to nonradiative recombination are observed as black spots in the cathodoluminescence image. Comparison of the images from exactly the same micron-scale region of a sample demonstrates a one-to-one correlation between the presence of single threading dislocations and resolved dark spots in the cathodoluminescence image. In addition, we have also obtained an atomic force microscopy image from the same region of the sample, which confirms that both pure edge dislocations and those with a screw component (i.e., screw and mixed dislocations) act as nonradiative recombination centers for the Si-doped c-plane GaN thin film investigated.
Electricity generation is the main source of energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions, and lighting uses one-fifth of its output. Solid-state lighting (SSL) using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is poised to reduce this value by at least 50%, so that lighting will then use less than one-tenth of all electricity generated. The use of LEDs for lighting will provide reductions of at least 10% in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from power stations within the next 5–10 years. Even greater reductions are likely on a 10–20-year time scale.
Artificial lighting is one of the factors contributing significantly to the quality of human life. Modern light sources, such as incandescent light bulbs (a heated tungsten wire in a bulb that is evacuated or filled with inert gas) and compact fluorescent lamps (a phosphor-coated gas discharge tube), use electricity to generate light. Worldwide, grid-based electric lighting consumed about 2650 TW·h of electricity in 2005, some 19% of total global electricity consumption . Using an average cost of $2.8 per megalumen-hour (Mlm·h), the International Energy Agency estimated that the energy bill for electric lighting cost end-users $234 billion and accounted for two-thirds of the total cost of electric-lighting services ($356 billion), which includes lighting equipment and labor costs as well as energy. The annual cost of grid-based electric lighting is about 1% of global gross domestic product.
Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Scholars who have looked at what we can know about the historical Jesus from the Gospels have generally decided that the answer is ‘not much’.
The quotations above strikingly illustrate the difference between the claims of a gospel, in this case that of Luke, to have carefully investigated everything about the life of Jesus and the claims of many modern scholars, that we cannot reliably understand much about the historical Jesus from the gospels. Geza Vermes represents what is often thought to be the view of the majority of scholars about the gospels when he writes: ‘They are filled with discrepancies.’
In this book I have carefully investigated the last days of Jesus afresh. I have forensically examined the gospels, comparing them with each other and with historical sources. I have found that the major apparent discrepancies in the gospel descriptions of the final days of Jesus, including the last supper, do not exist. They arise because we have wrongly interpreted the gospel texts. When correctly understood, all four gospels agree with each other to a remarkable extent. They also agree with the relevant passages in the Dead Sea Scrolls and with Jewish and Roman historians.
On a faraway spring morning, in a remote corner of the Roman empire, soldiers crucified a Galilean Jew known as Jesus of Nazareth. No doubt the ruling authorities believed he would be quickly forgotten, a mere blip in history, one of many hundreds they had crucified. Yet, almost two thousand years later, Jesus is widely recognised as one of the most important persons who has ever lived; many would say the most important person.
Arguably the week in which Jesus died is the most momentous week in the history of the world. Probably more has been written about this week (‘Passion Week’ or ‘Holy Week’) than about any other week in history. There are probably more paintings of the crucifixion than of any other historical event (for example, see fig. 1.1). However, there is a problem. Our main sources of information about the last week of Jesus, the four gospels, appear to contradict each other. The purpose of this book is to present new information that reveals that the four gospels in fact give a remarkably coherent account of the last days of Jesus. This enables us to reconstruct these days in detail. The new information presented in this book also throws new light upon our understanding of the words and actions of Jesus.
For hundreds of years, we thought we knew what happened during Jesus' last days. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are not only observed by Christians around the world, but are also recognized in calendars and by non-practitioners as commemorating the true timeline of events in the life of Christ. But apparent inconsistencies in the gospel accounts of Jesus' final week have puzzled Bible scholars for centuries. In The Mystery of the Last Supper, Colin Humphreys uses science to reveal the truth about Jesus' final days. Reconciling conflicting Gospel accounts and scientific evidence, Humphreys reveals the exact date of the Last Supper in a definitive new timeline of Holy Week.
He [Jesus] celebrated Passover with his disciples probably according to the calendar of Qumran, that is to say, at least one day earlier [than Passover in the official Jewish calendar].
(Pope Benedict XVI's Holy Thursday Homily, Vatican City, April 6, 2007)
On Easter Thursday, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI made the controversial statement quoted above. I write ‘controversial’ because, as we have seen in Chapter 3, only a small minority of biblical scholars support a different calendar solution of the synoptics/John last supper controversy. However, now that Pope Benedict, who is a fine scholar, has come out in favour of a different calendar, the Qumran solar calendar, I will give this calendar particular attention. By the end of this chapter we will know, I believe beyond reasonable doubt, whether Jesus used the Qumran solar calendar for his last Passover.
The significance of the Pope's statement should not be underestimated. It was highlighted in many newspapers around the world. For example, the UK national daily paper the Daily Telegraph stated on April 7, 2007: ‘The Pope has sought to resolve a 2000-year-old dispute about the Last Supper. Theologians have long argued over whether the meal that Jesus had with his disciples was the traditional Passover menu of roast lamb. The gospel of St John states that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, the day before. St Mark says that Jesus requested a room to “eat the Passover with my disciples”.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, ‘This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.’
As we saw in the previous chapter, the calendar expert Professor Bickerman stated, ‘The pre-Babylonian time reckoning of the ancient Hebrews is virtually unknown’, and the Jewish scholar Sacha Stern wrote, ‘We return to the pre-exilic period … calendar reckoning in the early biblical period remains completely obscure.’ In this chapter we will find this ‘lost calendar’ of early Israel.
According to the book of Exodus, God instructed Moses and Aaron to change the first month of the calendar they were using so that the Exodus from Egypt marked the start of their new year. This was the only change in the calendar they were asked to make. Interestingly, Exodus pointedly states, ‘The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month”’ (Exodus 12:1–2). The readers of Exodus would have been well aware that Moses and Aaron were in Egypt; Moses and Aaron had been there throughout the ten plagues of the previous seven chapters of Exodus, so why specifically mention that they were in Egypt here, immediately before making a calendrical statement? I suggest the reason is explicitly to draw readers' attention to the fact that Moses and Aaron were in Egypt and therefore using an Egyptian calendar, the first month of which Moses was now to change.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus' disciples asked him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’
As you enter the city [Jerusalem], a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem.
In March 2010 I was invited to be an observer at a murder trial at the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court in London. The murder had occurred eight months previously and the witnesses disagreed on the details of what had happened. The prosecution and defence lawyers skilfully commenced their questioning of the witnesses by first trying to establish the background circumstances. Where had the murder occurred? At about what time? Who was present? Only then did the lawyers home in on the details. Who had thrown the first punch? Was the murder victim kicked when he was lying on the ground or up against a wall?
In this book we have carefully established some background circumstances to the gospels which many scholars have ignored.
Christ had been executed in Tiberius' reign by the Governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.
(Tacitus, Annals 15.44)
A small book my father gave to my younger daughter for her tenth birthday remains etched in my memory, and it unintentionally initiated my quest to discover the truth about the momentous last week of Jesus. The book was called Great Men of History. Why have I never forgotten this book? Because on the first page it listed every person described in the book and it gave their dates of birth and death, but against Jesus it had: ‘Born 4 bc? Died ad 30?’ Every other person listed on the front page – Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Christopher Columbus, and so on – was given a definite date of birth and death. Jesus was the only person whose dates of birth and of death were followed by question marks.
How strange, I thought. Jesus made a huge mark upon history, much greater than Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great or any of the other ‘historical greats’ listed. Yet the author of the book did not know the years in which Jesus was born and died. In fact historians and biblical scholars today are still uncertain about these dates. For example, the New International Version (NIV) Study Bible states regarding the life of Christ: ‘Exact dates, even year dates, are generally unknown.’
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years.
As we have seen in the previous chapter, a different calendar theory is, in principle, an attractive way of explaining the apparent discrepancies between the synoptics and John concerning the date and nature of the last supper. However, the only 'different calendar' that has had any real support from scholars is the Qumran solar calendar and I have just shown conclusively that Jesus could not have used this calendar to celebrate his last supper as a Passover meal. So it seems we are no further forward in trying to understand the apparent disagreement between the synoptics and John on the last supper.
As I thought about this problem I tried to update it in my mind. Why do the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on a different date from Catholics and Protestants? It is because Catholics and Protestants use the modern Gregorian calendar, but Eastern Orthodox Christians continue to calculate the date of Easter using the Julian calendar, which existed before the Gregorian calendar (see Chapter 2), because they have always celebrated Easter in the Julian calendar in their tradition. So in order to solve the date of the last supper problem in John and the synoptics, should we be looking for an ancient Jewish calendar that existed before the official Jewish calendar at the time of Christ, which a Jewish group (or groups) might have continued to use at the time of Christ to celebrate Passover, because they had always celebrated Passover in this calendar in their tradition?
They bound him [Jesus] and brought him first to Annas.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.
Very early in the morning, the chief priest, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and turned him over to Pilate.
In this chapter we will consider the sequence of events recorded in the gospels, from the last supper to the crucifixion, paying particular attention to their timing.
THE CONDENSED NATURE OF THE GOSPELS
Let us start by reminding ourselves that all biographies are compressed versions of history. In a biography a person's rich and varied life is condensed into a few hundred pages, with only the highlights usually recorded. The gospels are of necessity similarly selective, and as John writes at the very end of his gospel: ‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written’ (John 21:25).
Our study of the gospels in this book has shown that they each compress events differently: they are four separate narratives telling the story of the same person.
When the day of Pentecost came, they [the apostles] were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven … All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people … I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”’
(Acts 2:1–2, 4, 14–17, 19–21)
Picture the dramatic scene. Peter spoke the above words on the day of Pentecost, to the crowds who had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate this feast, the second of the three great Jewish feasts.