Did You Know?

What is the “coccus scarlet material” often referred to in the book of Exodus?

According to the Bible account, the tent cloths forming the walls and gate of the tabernacle, Israel’s ancient center of worship, were made of “blue thread and wool dyed reddish purple and coccus scarlet material and fine twisted linen.” (Exodus 26:1; 38:18) “The holy garments” of the priests were also to be made using “coccus scarlet material.”—Exodus 28:1-6.

Coccus scarlet, also known as kermes, was a dye that yielded a brilliant-red, or scarlet, color. The dye was extracted from the bodies of female insects of the Coccidae family. These wingless insects live on the kermes oak tree (Quercus coccifera), native to the Middle East and the Mediterranean Coast. The scarlet color is contained in the eggs carried inside the body of the female. In that state, the insect resembles a berry, about the size and form of a pea, attached to the leaves and twigs of the kermes oak. After being handpicked and crushed, the insects yield a scarlet color, soluble in water and suitable for dyeing cloth. The Roman historian Pliny the Elder mentioned coccus scarlet and counted it among the highly esteemed colors of his day.

Which of the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures were present at Pentecost 33 C.E.?

It is possible that six of the eight men who wrote this portion of the Scriptures were present.

According to the Acts account, Jesus instructed his disciples: “Do not withdraw from Jerusalem, but keep waiting for what the Father has promised.” (Acts 1:4) The same account indicates that the future Bible writers Matthew, John, and Peter obeyed this instruction and gathered “at the same place,” with other disciples. Jesus’ half brothers were also there. (Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-4) Two of them, James and Jude (Judas), later wrote the two Bible books that bear their names.—Matthew 13:55; James 1:1; Jude 1.

In his Gospel, Mark speaks of a young man who fled on the night of Jesus’ arrest. He was evidently referring to himself, since all the other disciples had already abandoned Jesus. (Mark 14:50-52) Therefore, Mark seems to have been an early disciple, and it is possible that he was present at Pentecost.

The two remaining writers of the inspired Christian Greek Scriptures were Paul and Luke. At Pentecost 33 C.E., Paul was not yet a follower of Christ. (Galatians 1:17, 18) Apparently, Luke was not present either, since he excluded himself from the “eyewitnesses” of Jesus’ ministry.—Luke 1:1-3.

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Insects used in preparing the dye

[Credit Line]

Courtesy of SDC Colour Experience (www.sdc.org.uk)

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Peter speaking at Pentecost 33 C.E.