SDA Sermons For Youth PPT

sda sermons for youth ppt: Learn the Basics of Repentance from Scythian in the Bible: a blog about repentance concepts found in scythian. The Scythians were a group of people who lived in what is now southern Russia, north of the Black Sea. They were nomadic, meaning they moved around a lot and didn’t have permanent homes. In the Bible, the word “Scythian” refers to several groups of people: one group was called the Scythians in Asia Minor, another group was called the Cimmerians (they had come from the area around modern-day Crimea), and another group was called the Massagetae (they were related to the Scythians).

You can also find topics like “free seventh day adventist sermons pdf” along with extensive write-ups that include topics like “sda inspirational sermon ppt”

free seventh day adventist sermons pdf

The Scythians in Asia Minor came from Turkey and settled near Israel. They had been invaded by Assyria earlier in history but then rebelled against Assyria and took over its territory. The Scythians also lived in parts of modern-day Iran and Iraq.

The Bible mentions them several times as a threat to Israel: “For they shall be like withered grass which groweth up when it water is gone: they shall be like an oak whose leaf fadeth away because there is no rain” (Isaiah 37:20).

Colossians 3:11

Many readers of this journal will have memorized Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”1 They may not be as familiar with the parallel passage in Colossians 3:11, which omits any reference to gender: “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”2

Who indeed were the Scythians? And why does Paul refer to them? In this article, I will give a survey of their history and culture and examine different ways in which scholars have understood the function of the word in Colossians 3:11.

Periphrastic versions render the terms barbaros, skuthēs as: “barbarians or Scythians [who are the most savage of all]”;3 “alien, savage”;4 “uncivilized and uncouth”;5 “barbaric and uncouth”; 6 “foreigner, savage”;7 and “foreigner or savage.”8 Whereas older foreign translations were content to transliterate the word, more recent translations attempt to use explanatory terms.9

This general view of the Scythians is based on a wealth of classical references,10 and is generally reflected in all the commentaries, e.g., “The Scythians are cited as an especially strange kind of barbarian”;11 “The ‘Scythian’ represents the lowest kind of barbarian who was probably also a slave; the term was applied to tribes around the Black Sea. . . .”12

Old Testament references

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word Ashkenaz occurs in Genesis 10:3; in its parallel, 1 Chronicles 1:6; and in Jeremiah 51:27.13 The word has been identified with the Akkadian (i.e., Babylonian) word Ishkuza for the Scythians. More problematic is the identification of the “foes from the north” in Jeremiah and in Habakkuk with the Scythians, a view favored by a minority of scholars.14 I have contended that there is new archaeological evidence to suggest that some Scythians may have served as mercenaries in the Babylonian armies of Nebuchadnezzar when they attacked Jerusalem.15

Scythian history

Cuneiform sources

The cuneiform texts of Assyrian kings refer to the invasion of the Cimmerians and the Scythians in the eighth through the seventh centuries B.C. along Assyria’s northern frontier. In a careful examination of these sources, Anne G. Kristensen rejects the classical evidence that the former tribes came from the north and locates Gamir in the area of the Mannai (biblical Minni) near Lake Urmia in northwestern Iran.16 But, she then comes to the curious conclusion that the Cimmerians were the “lost tribes” deported by the Assyrians from the northern kingdom of Israel.

Classical sources

Hesiod (7th c. B.C.) is the first Greek writer to note the Scythians. The most important source for the early history of the Scythians, Medes, and Persians was the fifth-century “Father of History,” Herodotus,17 who traveled to the Greek colony of Olbia18 on the northern shore of the Black Sea to get invaluable information on the history and culture of the Scythians, who had eventually settled in the area of present-day Ukraine. Though some of the details of Herodotus’s account have been questioned, archeological evidence has confirmed much of his information on the Scythians.19

Scythian origins

The Scythians were the first of numerous waves of warriors on horses who swept westward over the vast Eurasian steppes, which extend from Mongolia more than four thousand miles to the Carpathian Mountains in Europe. They would be followed over the centuries by groups such as the Huns, the Magyars (who settled in Hungary), the Bulgars (who settled in Bulgaria), and the Mongols.

Their original home may have been at the eastern edge of this steppe region near the Altai Mountains of Siberia, where pole tops from the eighth century B.C., which are similar to those later excavated in the Scythian mound burials in the Ukraine, have been found. According to Herodotus (4.12), after moving westward around the Caspian Sea, the Scythians pursued the Cimmerian tribes over the Caucasus Mountains.

Archaeologists have identified objects in the Ukraine, which confirm Herodotus’s account:

The archaeological record indicates that the Cimmerians, nomadic horsemen like the Scythians, did live in this area in the eighth to the first half of the seventh centuries B.C. . . . The Cimmerians indeed do appear to have been expelled from the region by the Scythians around the middle of the seventh century B.C., as reported by Herodotus (4.11–12), Strabo. . . .20


The Cimmerians may be associated with biblical Gomer (Gen. 10:2–3; Ezek. 38:6). They were known in Akkadian as Gimmiraia and in Greek as Kimmerioi.21 They went westward into Asia Minor (Turkey), while the Scythians proceeded southward into Median territory (in northwestern Iran). In central Anatolia about 675 B.C., they devastated the city of Gordium, the capital of the legendary Midas, an event corroborated by Assyrian sources, who called him Mita.

They then in 644 B.C. attacked Sardis, the capital of the Lydian king Gyges, who is credited with the invention of coinage. They attacked the Ionian Greek cities on the west coast of Turkey, including Ephesus, Smyrna, and Magnesia on the Maeander. In doing so, the Cimmerians would have passed close to the site of Colossae in the valley of the Lycus River, which feeds into the Maeander.22

Scythians and Assyrians

Though Assyrian texts do not mention the Scythians until late in the eighth century B.C., a relief from the reign of Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 B.C.) depicts mounted warriors who are shooting arrows backward—a skill perfected by Scythian horsemen. The first reference to the Ishkuza is found in the texts of Sargon II (721–705 B.C.). The most important references come from the reign of Esarhaddon (680–669 B.C.). A Scythian chief named Bartatua (the Protothyes of Her. 1.103) demanded an Assyrian princess in marriage as the price of an alliance.

Scythians and Medes

In 612 B.C., the Assyrians were overthrown by a coalition of Medes,23 an Indo-European tribe who had settled in the northern Zagros Mountains, and the Chaldeans, who occupied southern Mesopotamia. The report of Herodotus (4:1), that the Scythians had dominated “the upper country of Asia for twenty-eight years” at the time Median kings were in power in the region, has raised problems for scholars.

A number of suggestions have been offered that can accommodate the presence of Scythians in the region before they were expelled by the Median king Cyaxares.24 The Scythians then went back over the Caucasus to settle on the northern shores of the Ukraine, especially along the lower reaches of the Dnieper River and the Crimean peninsula.

Scythians and Persians

The Persian king Darius II (522–486 B.C.)25 invaded the area of European Scythia by crossing the Bosporus at the western end of the Black Sea in the year 514 B.C. Though some of the details of his account have been contested,26 his general account has been corroborated by the discovery of Persian inscriptions in the area of Thrace (Bulgaria) and Dacia (Romania).27 Darius was frustrated by the Scythians’ refusal to fight a pitched battle. After the Persian retreat, the Scythians attacked some of the Greek settlements north of the Black Sea.28

Arrowheads found at the battle of Marathon, where a Persian force sent by Darius in 490 B.C. was defeated by the Greeks, may have come from Scythians serving under the Persians. Some of the eastern Scythians, called the Sakai by the Persians, served as a contingent in the vast army of Xerxes when he invaded Greece in 480 B.C. (Her. 7.64). Mounted Sakai archers fought at the battle of Plataea in 479 B.C.

Scythians and Greeks

The Greeks first encountered Scythians when they established colonies on the northern shore of the Black Sea in the sixth century B.C. There are more than four hundred representations of Scythian archers on black-figured vases dating between 530 and 490 B.C. M. E. Vos believes that it was probably Peisistratus (who reigned 546–527 B.C.) who recruited Thracian and Scythian mercenaries to help him establish his tyranny in Athens.29

In the mid-fifth century B.C., a corps of about three hundred Scythian bowmen, clad in their exotic peaked hats and decorated trousers, served as state policemen in Athens.30 Because of their appearance and their broken Greek, they were made the butt of jokes by Aristophanes, for example, in his play, Thesmophorizae.31 In the fourth century B.C., the Scythians established a fortified city by the lower Dnieper. In this period, Scythian power extended as far west as the Danube under king Atheas, but was abruptly halted when the aged king was killed by Philip, the father of Alexander, in 331 B.C. There is a gap in our archaeological evidence between the period of the Steppe Scythians (7th–4th c. B.C.) and the rise of the Late Scythian culture (2nd c. B.C.–3rd c. A.D.).32

Scythians and Sarmatians33

In the mid-third century B.C., another nomadic tribe, the Sarmatians, who had lived to the east of the Scythians, began to overpower them. The typical burial mounds of the Scythians were displaced by Sarmatian tombs. This development can be traced most dramatically by recent excavations at the most important fortified settlement of the Scythians, the city of Neapolis, located near modern Simferopol in the Crimea. By the first century A.D., the Sarmatians had occupied Neapolis, resulting in a sharp decline in material culture. Various groups of Scythians and Sarmatians continued to be engaged in raiding and warring with their neighbors, such as the kingdoms of Pontus and of Bosphorus, until the second century A.D.

Scythian culture

Anacharsis and Scyles

Herodotus relates the example of two exceptional Scythians who adopted Greek culture—but to their own peril. Anacharsis (6th c. B.C.) had been sent by the king of Scythia to learn the ways of Hellas (Her. 4.77). He was later numbered by the Greeks among the Seven Sages.34 Lucian uses Anacharsis, in a dialogue with the famous Athenian archon Solon, to question the Greek enthusiasm for athletics.

But the Hellenized Anacharsis was repudiated by the Scythians (Her. 4.76). Josephus (Contra Apionem 2.269) recounts, “Anacharsis, whose wisdom won the admiration of the Greeks, was on his return put to death by his compatriots, because he appeared to have come back infected with Greek habits.”

Herodotus (4.78) also relates the story of Scyles, the son of the Scythian king Ariapithes and a Greek woman. When Scyles (5th c. B.C.) became king, he brought his army outside the Greek city of Olbia and entered the city, where he had a second home, living there for a month at a time as a Greek. But, when this was discovered, his brother beheaded him.

Alcohol and hemp

Many of the customs of the Scythians struck the Greeks as bizarre. For example, Herodotus (4.84) reports that the Scythians drank their wine neat, that is, undiluted with water, contrary to the custom among the Greeks, who diluted their wine with water in large kraters. According to Athenaeus (Deipnosophistae 11.499), “the Scythians are in the habit of drinking to great excess” and “to get drunk is to behave like a Scythian.” Francois Hartog comments, “So to drink wine is the mark of a civilized man, but to drink wine undiluted is the mark of a savage and represents a transgression.”35

The drinking of blood and alcohol sealed a special “blood brotherhood,” as described in classical sources such as Herodotus (7.4). Lucian’s Scythian Toxaris explains, “For, once we have cut our fingers, let the blood drip into a cup, dipped our swordpoints into it, and then, both at once, have set it to our lips and drunk, there is nothing thereafter that can dissolve the bond between us.” This rite is depicted in several gold plaques.36

Herodotus (4.74–75) reported that the Scythians entered a tent-like structure and placed hemp seeds on red hot stones, which then produced fumes. He noted, “The Scythians howl in their joy at the vapour-bath”—as we would now say, they were getting high on pot! Discoveries at the frozen tombs at Pazyryk have dramatically confirmed the details of Herodotus’ account, including frames for a tent, a bronze cauldron, and hemp seeds.37

Bows and arrows

The Scythians used short, powerful composite bows.38 They were ambidextrous and could shoot while riding horses, even turning backward to do so. Their distinctive trilobate (three-barbed) arrows were sometimes poisoned with either snake venom or hemlock. They invented a combination bow case and quiver called a gorytos.39 These could hold as many as two hundred arrows. Gorytoi richly decorated with gold overlays have been found, including one in a tomb at Vergina in Macedonia, which has been plausibly identified as the tomb of Philip, Alexander’s father.40

Women archers = Amazons?41

Herodotus (4.110) recounts how the Scythians encountered armed women Amazons, whom they called oiorpata or “mankiller.” He identified them as the Sauromatae (4.116–17). The story of the Amazons was associated in Greek myth with such heroes as Heracles, Theseus, and Achilles, and was depicted on countless painted vases.42

A number of Scythian tombs indicate that at least some of the Scythian women wore armor like the men and used weapons including the bow and arrow.43 The percentage of graves of armed women among the Sarmatians near the Lower Volga is strikingly higher than among the Scythian graves.44

Jeannine Davis-Kimball, excavating at Pokrovka in Kazakhstan, unearthed in 1994 the tomb of a young female warrior/priestess with about forty bronze arrowheads and an iron dagger.45

Scalps and skulls

There is no doubt that the practice that gave the Scythians their lasting reputation for savagery was their brutal treatment of their enemies. According to Herodotus (4.64), in the battlefield the Scythians would drink the blood of the first enemy they killed.46 Their practice of bringing the severed head of an enemy to their chiefs is depicted on an ornamented cup.

Herodotus also reported that the Scythians would scalp their victim and then use the scalp as a napkin! At times, they would flay the entire skin and use it or display it. The Greeks invented the word aposkythizein for the process of scalping.47 The Scythians would also take the top of the skull, decorate it, and use it as a drinking bowl (Her. 4.65).

Leave a Reply