ICONIUM In the Roman Province of Galatia Iconium was an important city 80 miles (128 km) on the main road east from Antioch in Pisidia. The emperor Caligula gave this city, which he renamed Claudiconium, as a place for army veterans to retire. When Paul and Barnabas had to leave Antioch in Pisidia he came to the synagogue in Iconium, and "a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers" (Acts 14:1). There was soon opposition and Paul and Barnabas had to move on to Lystra and Derbe. On the way back they ordained ELDERS for the church in Iconium (Acts 14:23). When Paul wrote to the Galatians this was one of the churches which he addressed jointly with the church in ANTIOCH in Pisidia. Paul visited the area during his second missionary journey, and he was joined by Timothy from there (Acts 16:1-2). He again went through to visit the churches in Galatia during the third journey (19:1).

ICONIUM, Later The city of Iconium was taken over by the SELJUK TURKS to be their capital, and its name was changed to KONYA to this day.

IDOLATRY Paul reminded the Corinthians that "for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist." This means that idol worshipers are serving what does not exist (1 Corinthians 8:4-6). That does not make idolatry harmless. As opposed to sharing in the bread and wine of communion, any communion with imaginary gods is a sharing in the demonic (1 Corinthians 10:14-22). Kenneth Hamilton explained "Granted that idolatry is trafficking in gods that are non-existent, those imaginary gods are present and real to the imagination of those brought up to trust in them." The power of idols lies in the dynamics of the non-existent" (To Turn from Idols, Eerdmans, 1973, p.13, 127). A modern example is faith in LUCK. There is no such thing as luck, but luck becomes a mighty power when it is used to deny the love and power of God. There is a similar idolatry of progress, sexiness, eternal youthfulness.

IDOLS There was a little boy who wanted to love and honor his father. So he made a clay modelof his dad, put it in a closet of the house, and began going there to say "You are a wonderful parent. I love you very much." The father was horrified. Instead of running to him, sitting in his lap, and telling him all the joys and hurts of school, the boy kept his respectful distance. This is why the second of the ten commandments is so fierce against idolatry. "I the Lord your God am a jealous God."The reason is that localizing a parent, or our loving God, in an idol has terrible results. And the commandment adds that the results continue "to the third and fourth generation." But the bad news can be instantly reversed. There is "steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments" (Exodus 20:5-6). And Jesus explained that the first commandmentis to run like a little child to God, and enjoy the love of the family.

ILLYRICUM Paul claimed that "by the power of the Spirit of God, from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news (Romans 15:19). This did not mean he had preached to every person, only that he had planted a church in the main city of each Roman Province. Dalmatia (present day Bosnia) was the southern district of the Roman Province of Illyricum which stretched north along the Adriatic from Macedonia to present day Croatia. Paul announced his intention to go there on his way to ROME(Acts 19:21), during his third missionary journey. He must have done this (Acts 20:2), but for some reason was prevented from crossing the Adriatic to go to Rome as he had planned. (Romans 15:22-24 - He later made it to Rome in chains). He sent Titus to establish the churches in Dalmatia (2 Timothy 4:10) as Titus had previously done in CRETE (Titus 1:5, where we place the Crete mission before Acts 18:22).

IMAGE OF GOD After describing God's CREATION of various species of vegetation (Genesis 1:11-12), fish and birds (1:20-21), and mammals and rodents (1:24-25), we are told that the three Persons of the eternal TRINITY decided to make humans in their own image. There had been HOMINIDS of various species (Homo Erectus, Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal, etc) for two or three million years. These had all sorts of instinctive skills (see ANTS) but they do not appear to have had the ability to make moral judgments or create new ways of ordering their lives. . But when GOD created Genesis Man (Genesis 1:27-28) the first true humans appeared.. They had the astonishing freedom to talk to God, worship and thank him, make moral judgments, and choose among alternative religions and ideologies to order their lives (see God of Many Names chapters 1-3). Man is also a scientist who can look at, try out, evaluate, and create new scientific explanations (see Model Theology).


IMAGO DEI (Latin for image of God) see IMAGE OF GOD

IMAM The term is used for the leader of a MOSQUE. But among SHI'AS it also refers to a line of seven, twelve, or more men who are recognized by their learning and piety as authoritative teachers. They alone have the right to interpret the QUR'AN and the traditions (hadith). In Iran the supreme Imam is called the ayatollah (in Arabic it means "token of God").

IMMIGRATION "When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt" (Leviticus 19:33-34). Evidently by Old Testament law people of other races could become Jewish citizens. "Any alien residing among you who wishes to keep the passover to the LORD shall do so according to the statute of the Passover" (Numbers 9:14), which required the circumcision of male babies (Exodus 12:48). On the other hand immigrants were expected to respect the nation's religious customs. "Anyone of the house of Israel or of the aliens who reside among them who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, to sacrifice it to the LORD, shall be cut off from the people" (Leviticus17:8-11). "Aliens as well as citizens, when they blaspheme the Name (of the Lord) shall be put to death" (Leviticus 24:16). Immigrants were welcome, but those were the rules that they chose to live by. That is very different from the MULTICULTURALISM which requires that we water down our own faith in case we offend immigrants who want to establish their religion among us.

IMPRECATORY PSALMS We cringe at some of the language. "Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life . . . Let ruin come upon them unawares" (Psalm 35:4, 8). "O God, break the teeth in their mouths . . . Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime. . .The righteous will rejoice when they see the vengeance" (Psalm 58:6-10, as in 69:22-28). When we cry out like that, our loving and just God need not do exactly what we wish on our persecutors. But the freedom to express such feelings certainly acts as an emotional safety valve in extreme cases of injustice, vicious cruelty, and being defrauded. The first result is that instead of taking justice into our own hands we can hear Paul's words "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord" (Romans 12:19). Then having prayed such a prayer, we realize the danger of the person we have prayed for, and we may even be able to pray for them, and love them. This has been a common experience under torture. Imprecatory psalms are also much safer than repressing our hatred, which can break out in violent behavior. We should also note that an imprecatory psalm does not affect the person's eternal salvation. Wrath is always bad consequences in this life.

INCARNATION In our Trinitarian model of God (see TRINITY) the three Persons are one in their eternal oneness of love. But they relate to humans in quite different ways. The HOLY SPIRIT is always ready to be invited to work deep within our heart to inspire us with creative ENERGY. God the Father is never seen by human eyes (John 1:18) but he acts as a loving parent setting up our environment behind the scenes to free us as his children. the Son's task is to keep coming into contact with humans, and on occasion he appears face to face to reveal God's WORD to individuals like ABRAHAM (Genesis 15:1, 17:1), MOSES (Numbers 12:8, 14), and no doubt many others. Finally the Son decided to take birth among us, and emptied himself (Greek kenosis) for that purpose (Philippians 2:5-8, see Luke 1:35). The Nicene Creed says "He came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary."


INDIA, Early Christians The case is not proved, but it has become more likely that the Apostle Thomas made two journeys to India (c.45-49 AD). The first may have been overland, and he went as a carpenter to build a palace for King Gudnaphar (Sanskrit Vindapharma, Greek Godnophores). PANTAENUS of Alexandria is said to have visited India (c.180 AD), and he reported that he found the Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew left there by the Apostle Bartholomew (Eusebius, Ecclesistical History, 4.10). The second was by ship across the Indian Ocean to the west coast of India. There are seven churches in the state of Kerala, which the Syrian Christians claim were founded by Thomas. From there he wrote letters from India to the church in EDESSA ("The Doctrine of the Apostles" in Cureton's Ancient Syriac Documents). After a visit further east to China Thomas was speared to death at Mailapur near Madras (modern Chennai). His tomb was discovered by the Portuguese (1522), but his bones were apparently taken to the mother church in EDESSA, who viewed Thomas as their own apostle (see Dr. Alphonse Mingana, "The Early Spread of Christianity in India," Manchester: Rylands Library Bulletin, volumes 9-10, 1926

INKLINGS Beginning probably in 1930, a group of Christian friends began meeting Thursday evenings in C. S. LEWIS' rooms in Magdalen College, Oxford. He called it the Inklings, which Tolkien described as "people with vague or half-formed intimations and ideas plus those who dabble in ink." For over twenty years they would read what they were writing to one another. This resulted in some astonishingly creative literature. In February 1933 C.S. Lewis said he had just listened to TOLKIEN's The Hobbit. Lewis read to the group his science fiction novels (published 1938-43), also The Screwtape Letters before it was published (1942). Charles WILLIAMS (1886-1945) contributed some of his novels and an important book about the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church titled Descent of the Dove (1939). His poetry included Taliesssin through Logres (1938) and The Region of the Summer Stars (1944). C. S. Lewis edited Essays Presented to Charles Williams (1947). Another occasional member was Owen BARFIELD. (For others connected with these see Humphrey Carpenter, The Inklings: London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978. pp. 255-259)

INDEPENDENCE A nation is independent when it is self-governing and not under foreign control. So we will keep the word FREEDOM for our individual psychological and political freedoms within our country. . Paul the Apostle made an important statement in his speech on Mars Hill in Athens (about 50 AD). "From one ancestor God made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him" (Acts 17). Whether or not we believe in God, it is obvious that nations as nations have a long history. The Chinese and Japanese, the Slavs of Russia, the Greeks and Romans, and various other Indo-European nations (Germans, British. French, Scandinavians), all trace back their independence for at least two thousand years. The Arabs and Jews originated with ABRAHAM 3800 years ago. And the Jewish nation survived without a homeland and speaking many languages for 1900 years till 1948. Paul claimed that the purpose of national independence was to free people, each in their own way, to recognize and know God.

INDO-EUROPEAN The French word for God Dieu is from the Latin Deus, connected with the Greek Zeus, and Sanskrit devas, dyaus the father of the gods. The grammatical resemblances iin Latin, Greek, German, and Sanskrit was first pointed out by the French Jesuit Coerdoux (in 1767). A computer program at the University of Pennsylvania (George Johnson, New York Times, reported in the Globe and Mail, January 6, 1996) suggested that the first division from the root language was Anatolian (including Hittite). Then came a Celtic grouping including Cornish, Breton, Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx. The Italic languages included Latin, Italian, and Spanish. Armenian was a breakaway from the languages of Greece. The Germanic languages, including Teutonic, early English and Dutch, were originally connected with the Slavic and Baltic tongues. Early Iranian was similar to Sankrit, the language of the Aryans who came into north India. Scholars have tended to despise the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. But it carefully lists the Indo-Europeans under the Japhethite languages (Genesis 10:2-5). They included Gomer (Gaul), Magog (Scythians), Madai (Medes, Iranians, Sanskrit), Javan, (the Greek islands), Kittim (Cyprus), Rodanim (Rhodes), Tubal (Iberians), Meshech (Iberians), and Tiras (the Balkan people and Slavs).

INDULGENCES Three explanatory MODELScombined to suggest the theory of indulgences to cancel out Divine retribution. The first is that sin must be paid for in this life or after death in PURGATORY. The second is that those who are good beyond what is required (Jesus, Mary, the saints) contribute to a "treasury of merits," which can be drawn on to make up for our deficiencies. Thirdly the Roman Catholic Pope can authorize priests to draw on these merits for people who deserved to be absolved from the consequences of their behavior. By the twelfth century indulgences were granted for those who took part in the CRUSADES. The REFORMATION began when LUTHER denounced the practice of giving indulgences on payment of money. "The moment your gold coin drops in the box your mother will escape from purgatory." In the overarching model we commend on this website there is neither retribution nor earning of merit. God's kind of LOVE does not work that way. Like a loving parent, God does assign consequences on earth (see WRATH) for unacceptable behavior. But love forgives the worst of sins, even the killing of the Son of God on the CROSS. You cannot pay for forgiveness. It is guaranteed and total for all who accept it on earth, and it is never needed in heaven.

INDUS VALLEY The excavations in the cities of Mohenjodaro (500 km up the Indus from Karachi) and Harappa (another 1000 km to the north east) enable us to picture a civilization which had wells, drains, and bathrooms, but no trace of iron. The cities were probably destroyed (perhaps about 1500 BC) by invading Aryan tribes who occupied the north of the Indian sub-continent. Their religion seems to have included the worship of the Mother Goddess (Shakti) as well as the bull and other animals, trees, and idols such as the lingam phallus, and the practice of YOGA (all of which came into Hinduism. But their script has not been deciphered. Indian scholars connect their language with Tamil and other Dravidian languages which were pushed to the south of India. If we are right about the SUMERIAN LANGUAGE (based on Arpachshadin Genesis 10:22, and 11:20-29) Abraham in Ur would have understood the early Indus Valley language, and talked to their mariners. The SUMERIANS certainly reported trade connections with Bahrein and other islands in the Persian Gulf (Dilmun), Oman (Magan) and Meluhha (the Indus Valley).

INNER RINGS For an oration at King's College in the University of London (1944) C.S.Lewis chose the topic of "The Inner Ring" (The Weight of Glory, MacMillan, 1949). By then he had already experienced the hurt of being left out of inner rings at school, and in university circles. His conversion to Christian faith (1929), and then the publication of The Screwtape Letters (1940), and The Problem of Pain (1940) had already excluded him from some inner rings of academia. The writing of children's stories in The Chronicles of Narnia (1949-1952) would soon cost him the Professor's Chair he certainly deserved at Oxford University. Sadly, Christian theology is also riddled with inner rings that exclude anyone who does not conform to this or that statement of faith. The result is that the CREATIVITY of the HOLY SPIRIT is discouraged, and integrity gives way to conformity. In his address Lewis also warned the students: "Of all passions the passion for the Inner Ring is most skilful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things."

INQUISITION By the second century the refusal of communion for wrong behavior or false teaching had become common in many churches. Reasons why this was not New Testament teaching (see EXCOMMUNICATION) are given in Go Make Learners(chapter on "Fellowship"). In 316 and again in 347 AD North African churches persuaded the emperor to use coercion against the Donatists, but it was not till 1232 that the emperor Frederick II had heretics punished by state officials. To avoid state intervention in church matters Gregory IX (Pope 1227-1241) immediately appointed the Dominicans and Franciscans to enforce the first Inquisition. If the accused confessed their error a penance was imposed, but after a trial they could be given harsh imprisonment. It was 1252 Pope Innocent IV (Pope 1243-1254) who first allowed torture (1252) to break the resistance of heretics. The Spanish Inquisition was headed by Tomas de Torquemada (1420-1498) of the Dominican Order who became the first Grand Inquisitor in 1483. He condemned at least 2000 persons to be burned to death, and in 1492 expelled all Jews from Spain if they refused to be baptized. To oppose the Reformation (in the Counter-Reformation) Pope Paul III (Pope 1534-1559) established the Congregation of the Inquisition to provide for a final court of appeal in trials of heresy. The Inquisition was finally terminated in 1820.

INSIGHT In the Book of Proverbs the NRSV translation "insight" is used for two Hebrew nouns (musar and bina). Proverbs are one of the ways of learning insight (1:2). The secret is to "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight" (3:5). If we interpret sophia as the equivalent of the Holy Spirit we can see how wisdom and insight (4:5; 7:4; 8:14; 9:10) are twin fruits of "the wisdom from above" (James 3:17). Wisdom means making right judgments. Insight sees into the level of truth below the surface. It is more than the mere gathering of data. As Paul said "We look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen" (2 Corinthians 4:18). Without insight a doctor sees symptoms without being able to discern what is the underlying reality. But by insight, not only the people around us, but Jesus himself are seen in a completely different way. "We regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew the Messiah from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way" (2 Corinthians 5:16). So "the beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever else you get, get insight" (Proverbs 4:7). It is not something you get once for all, it is a continuous walk in the Spirit. "Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight" (9:6).

INSPIRATION The Greeks knew that you cannot create great art or music, tragedy or comedy, without inspiration. They imagined the Holy Spirit as nine beautiful women, each with their names. I don't think the Holy Spirit minded being addressed in this charming way. Except that they would need a hundred names to capture "the wisdom of God in its rich variety" (Ephesians 3:10). In the Bible we have the artistic inspiration of the Spirit given to Bezaleel (Exodus 31:3-5). The judges (political leaders of early Israel) needed inspiration for the liberation of their people (Judges 3:10, 6:34, 13:25). As did the prophets when they "made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of the Messiah within them indicated" (1 Peter 1:10). After the Day of Pentecost people of all nations would gather in churches of the Spirit to be given "the manifestation (phanerosis) of the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:7) through a rich variety of charismata (gifts of the Spirit). It was also the Holy Spirit who inspired the collection and preservation of the books of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).

INSTINCTS There is nothing wrong with instincts. Cats have them, as we do (curiosity, self-protection, food, sex, mothering, play, territory, pecking order). These drives were invented by the Son of God when he designed our world (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16). And he received these same instincts through the genes of his mother when he took flesh among us (Hebrews 2:17, 4:15). Most of the time our instincts work very well. The problem is that our flesh has no interest in turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, praying for the needs of others, loving enemies, or even loving the people we find so tiresome in our church. This is why Paul explains that "nothing good dwells within me, that is in my flesh" Instincts cannot be persuaded to love by willpower. "I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do" (Romans 7:18-19). The solution is not to beat down our God-given instincts, but to avoid minding their pressing demands by focusing on what only the Spirit can do. "Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5).

INTEGRITY We appreciate a LEADER who is straightforward. "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever follows perverse ways will be found out" (Proverbs 10:9). That is why we hate working for a devious person. Jesus said "Let your word be 'Yes ( meaning) Yes, and your No (meaning) No" (Matthew 5:37). It is never right to "bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16). In war it may be necessary to use camouflage and false information to prevent the enemy gaining an advantage, but in a family or a team Paul said "Do not lie to one another" (Colossians 3:9). "Putting away falsehood let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors (those close to us), for we are members of one another" (Ephesians 4:25). A body cannot function if the various parts deceive one another, and an organization, or the church as a body, will soon fall apart if there is deceit among the members. A lack of integrity in the CEO is quickly fatal. Writing about a successor to Pope Paul VI Andrew Greely said "He must be totally free of the slightest taint of financial and organizational wheeling and dealing" (Toronto Star August 10, 1978)

INTERNET One definition of postmodernism is non-foundationalism. We no longer depend on authorities to assure us of this or that truth. All facts are questionable. There are no absolute certainties. Similarly the Internet does not rely on accreditation or assured scientific facts. . We never know whether a website is reliable. But the Internet works because people are capable of evaluating good and bad sources. We try out the recipes that are offered to see if they turn out well.. Herbal remedies, acupuncture, Shiatsu, etc. all have an equal right to be tested in our situation. We learn to trust some writers. We are suspicious of others even if they might give some helpful insights. On this Model Theology site we know we will be wrong sometimes. No one is infallible. But we do try to correct mistakes if they are pointed out to us. A careful reader will note that over the years we feel free to change our mind on this or that point of doctrine. But we have no product to sell. We are not sponsored by any organization, we never ask for money from our readers or anyone else, and we run the site at our own expense. So we don't have to dance to any tune. We do believe that Jesus came from the love of God, and we want to explore everything he did and said in the Gospels and the comments of his apostles.

IRAN (Persia) The aboriginal people were Tajiks (similar to the Dravidians of India), but the country was taken over by Indo-European Aryans (listed as descendants of Japheth in Genesis 10:2-5). The Medes (madai) and Persians (Daniel 5:28) were united under Cyrus II the Great (reigned 559 - 529 BC) who toppled Babylon (539 BC, see the Day of the Lord in Isaiah 13:1, 6-13,48:14, Jeremiah 50:8-9). He immediately (2 Chronicles 36:20-23) ordered the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-2, see the prophecy in Isaiah 45:1, 13). He also recognized Zoroaster and his community (c.520 BC). Among the Medes he was known as Darius (Daniel 5:30-6:2). His sucessors waged war against the Greeks (499 BC till their fleet was destroyed at Salamis 480 BC and their army defeated at Platea, 479 BC). Esther became queen under Ahasuerus (Xerxes I, 485-465 BC). After the death of MUHAMMAD (570-632 AD) a huge Persian army was defeated by the Arabs (637) and Iran was soon converted to Islam (by 651 AD). The Nestorian churches, which had flourished, were allowed to continue, but they were often persecuted. In modern times Henry MARTYN (1781-1812) did a very beautiful translation of the New Testament into Persian. There were churches in the main cities till the revolution that toppled the Shah (1979) and ended the monarchy. This was followed by a war with Iraq in which hundreds of thousands died. Since the 1997 election there have been attempts to regain freedom from the rigid controls of the Islamic clergy.

IRANIAN CULTURE "Abdulkarim Sorush, the chief intellectual of Iran, argues that every Iranian has three identities, Shia, Persian, and Western" (reported by Karen Armstrong, Guardian, May 8, 2003). The people of IRAN have been MUSLIM since 651 AD (see NESTORIAN CHURCHES for the period before that time). Their ancient language is Farsi, which is INDO-EUROPEAN (see Genesis 10:2) and quite different from ARABIC. The Bible records a long Persian tradition going back to 539 BC when BABYLON fell to the Medes and Persians (Ezra 1:1-4; Esther 1:1; Daniel 5:27, 6:1, 9:1, 10:1). As regards the future, the heart longing of many young Iranians seems to be in terms of DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF RELIGION without the interference of CLERICS in their daily lives.

IRAN, Modern Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (Shah, 1941-79) took over supreme power in Iran (1953) and with the aid of vast oil revenues instituted major social reforms. These infuriated the Shiite clergy and theologians of the seminaries in Qum (see IRAN, Qum). Led by Ayatollah Khomeini (from exile in Paris) they fomented the revolution (1979), in which the Shah abdicated, and the Iranian Islamic Republic was established. The small Christian churches were closed down, and several of their clergy were martyred. This was soon followed by the war of SADDAM HUSSEIN against Iran (1980-88) in which a million Iranian young men died in battle. The motivation of this war was partly for control of oil resources, but the main reason was the support of the Iranian Shiite clergy for Shiites who lived in south-east Iraq. These were a threat to Saddam Hussein's secular dictatorship since they formed a 60 % majority of the population of IRAQ. The hostage crisis (1979-81) had angered the Americans, and the attempts by Iranian extremists to export their revolution resulted in trade and investment sanctions (1995), and this hostility has continued. Mohammed Khatami was elected President (1997) but his efforts to effect changes in the direction of freedom were blocked by the immense power of the Iranian clergy who insisted on retaining fundamentalist control of the country.

IRAN, Monarchy Under Shah Abbas the Great (reigned 1587-1628) Persia was a very powerful MONARCHY. Europeans came to visit the splendor of his capital in Isfahan. This was the age of huge multi-colored mosques and world-famous Persian carpets. But Abbas killed off his rivals, which weakened his Safavid dynasty, and the status of Persia declined till Shah Riza Khan Pahlavi seized power (he ruled 1921-1979). He modernized Persia, renamed it Iran, and controlled the clergy. Iran was invaded (1941) during the war, and came under foreign control. Through his vast wealth from the sale of oil he was able to regain authority, and build a powerful army. But he neglected the needs of ordinary people as the economy grew rapidly. To keep the lid on discontent, the Shah created the ruthless SAVAK secret police (1957) which drove the opposition underground. When he brought women into politics and took over the religious endowments of the clergy, the ayatollahs turned against him. So he arrested and exiled Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini. After the Shah abdicated the monarchy was ended and Iran became an Islamic republic (1979). Ayatollah Khomeini quickly returned from exile to bring Iran under the control of a Shiite THEOCRACY(seeIRAN, Qum).

IRAN, Qum After the Battle of Karbala (680) those who supported the claims to the CALIPHATE of the genealogical line of Ali (son in-law of MUHAMMAD) found themselves persecuted. A group of them took refuge in Qum (712). In addition to being a world-famous center of Persian silk carpets, Qum became a center for the training of Shiite clergy (Imams, Ayatollahs, Mullahs). Ayatollah Khomeini was exiled by the Shah, but from Paris he organized the Islamic revolution (1979). This resulted in the banishment of the Shah (he died in Egypt, 1980). The establishment of the Iranian Islamic Republic meant that ultimate control was now in the hands of the clergy. This made the seminaries in Qum into the intellectual center of Shiites all over the world. Their authority was greatly increased when SADDAM HUSSEIN persecuted the Shiites in south-west IRAQ, and the leading theologians fled from Najaf (see IRAQ, Najaf) and established themselves in Qum.

IRAQ Except for the mountains of Kurdisan (see KURDS) the country is a plain irrigated by the two rivers TIGRIS to the north and EUPHRATES to the south. These join before the port city of BASRA which is located near the ancient city of UR in the district of Chaldea. (see ABRAHAM). The original written language of the country was Sumerian (see SUMERIAN LANGUAGE) which is probably listed under ARPACHSHAD in what the table of Nations calls the Shemites (see SHEM). As a result of the invasion by NIMROD a HAMITIC language replaced the language of the SUMERIANS. It was called AKKADIAN which includes both ASSYRIAN in the north and BABYLONIAN. Alexander III of Macedon (the great 356-323 BC ) conquered the area now called Iraq before the battle of Issus (333 BC) against the Persians, and after overrunning the Punjab (327-325 BC) he died of a fever in Babylon. In the years before ISLAM was imposed (633-639 AD) there were hundreds of bishops of Christian churches (see EDESSA). During the era of the Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258 AD) BAGHDAD was the center of a brilliant Islamic civilization that stretched from AFGHANISTAN to SPAIN while Europe was still in the dark ages. The country was twice occupied by the British before it became the republic of Iraq (1958) with it's capital in Baghdad. The people are now mainly ARABIC speaking, and their religion is ISLAM divided into Sunnis in the north and Shias in the south with a minority Christian population.

IRAQ, Early Christians The diocese of Arbel in the Province of Abilene (present day IRAQ) extended from the mountains of Kurdistan to the Persian Gulf when Pkidha, the first Bishop of Arbel, was ordained (c.90 AD). By the time of Abd-Mshika (Bishop of Arbel, 190-225 AD) there were 25 Bishops in the Province of Abilene. This and much valuable information is given by John Stewart (Nestorian Missionary Enterprise: The Story of a Church on Fire, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, Madras: Christian Literature Society,1928, pp.3-5, 14, 33-34. He refers to Dr. Alphonse Mingana, "The Early Spread of Christianity in India," Manchester: Rylands Library Bulletin, volumes 9-10, 1926). Stewart also refers to a terrible persecution that broke out (345 AD). When Hanania was martyred "the greater number of the inhabitants of Adiabene (Iraq) were Christians (Neale, The Patriarchate of Antioch, p.129). In another persecution (448 AD) there was a massacre of Christians in Karka d'Beit Sluk (modern Kirkuk) "where, on a mound outside the city, ten bishops and 153,000 others are said to have been martyred, the slaughter lasting several days" (Wigram, History of the Assyrian Church, see Labourt, Le Christianisme dans l'empire Perse,p. 127). Sadly, without a Bible translation into ARABIC, the Christians churches in Iraq
were soon absorbed by the Muslim occupation.

IRAQ, Hawza During the reign of Saddam Hussein the grouping of Shi'a seminaries in the Hawza (university) of Najaf lost their influence to the seminaries of Qum in Iran (see IRAN, Qum). But as soon as SADDAM HUSSEIN was toppled in Iraq (March 2003), the Shi'a theologians of Najaf regained their authority (see IRAQ, Najaf; SHI'AS AND SUNNIS).. They immediately provided security and services in the main cities from Basra to Baghdad. The senior Shi'a theologian is the Ayatollah Sayyed Ali al-Sistani, who lost some credibility by never criticizing Saddam Hussein. Most popular among Iraqi Shi'as are followers of Imam Mohammed al-Sadr, who was killed (1999) by Saddam Hussein. His followers include the two million Shi'as of Baghdad in Saddam City (now renamed Sadr City). Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim was an exile who heads the Iranian-backed Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. He heads the 15,000 strong Badr Brigade. A fourth grouping, the Al-Da'wa party, was an offshoot (1950) of the Sadr party, and they are totally opposed to any form of secularism. But all these Shi'a theologians are committed to an Islamic state controlled by themselves as the clergy. A key figure is Sheikh Mohammed al-Yacobi, a civil engineer who trained to become an Imam, said that nothing in the new Iraqi constitution must go against any part of SHARIAH LAW.

IRAQ, Karbala When Ali, the fourth Caliph was killed by a poisoned sword, Muawiya of Damascus was soon accepted as the fifth Caliph (661-680) to begin the Ummayad Dynasty (661-750). In present day IRAQ those who thought the CALIPHATEshould belong to the line of Ali, invited Husayn ibn Ali, the second son of Ali, and the grandson of MUHAMMAD, to take refuge with them in Kufah. They promised to support his claim to the Caliphate. But when he arrived in Karbala with his family from Mecca he was met by an army of 4,000 soldiers sent by Caliph Yazid I who had succeeded (in the spring of 680) to the DAMASCUS CALIPHATE. Husayn was defeated and killed at the Battle of Karbala (October 10, 680). Husayn's decapitated body was buried in Karbala, and his tomb is viewed by Shiite Muslims (see SHIAS AND SUNNIS) as the most holy place in the world. Saddam Hussein terminated the annual pilgrimage of thousands of Shias who used to walk in procession to Karbala to mourn Husayn's terrible fate, and he oppressed Husayn's Shia followers mercilessly. A few days after the American war against Saddam Hussein (April 20, 2000) hundreds of thousands of Shias resumed this pilgrimage, beating their chests to mourn Husayn's death, and they gathered at his tomb by the magnificent Karbala mosque. Many of them said they wanted the Americans to leave so they could establish a Shia Muslim state.

IRAQ, Kufah This city was founded (638) by Omar (Umar), the second Caliph, as a garrison town to control the area now called Iraq. But the Muslims of Kufah (Kufa) opposed the claims of Omar's son Othman (Uthman) to be third Caliph (see CALIPHATE), and they supported ALI who became the fourth Caliph (656-660). He was killed by a poisoned sword in a war against the Syrians who supported the DAMASCUS Caliphate. The people of Kufah then invited Ali's second son Hussayn to come from Mecca, and they promised to support him as Caliph. But as soon as he arrived he was killed by the Syrians at the Battle of KARBALA (October 680). As a center of SHI'A opposition to the Abbasid Sunni Caliphate of BAGHDAD Kufah was sacked again and again (924-25, 927, 937). But it was rebuilt and survived under the Ottoman Turks till 1918 (see IRAQ, Ottoman) and under the British mandate (1920-32) and again under British control (1941-45). SADDAM HUSSEIN distrusted and persecuted the Iraqi Shi'as in his war against Shi'a IRAN(1980-88). As a Sunni Arab it seems he also hoped to restore the glory of the BAGHDAD Caliphate, which the Shi'as would certainly oppose. But suddenly when the Americans came (April 2003) the Shi'a clerics saw their opportunity to take control of their area of Iraq, and Kufah was restored as a key center for the renewal of Shi'a power in south-eastern Iraq.

IRAQ, Mosul The third biggest city of IRAQ is the city of Mosul (Arabic al-Mawsil). It is 225 miles (360 km) north-west from present day BAGHDAD on the west side of the TIGRIS. There is now a five-span bridge across the river to the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of NINEVEH which was destroyed (612 BC). Mosul took the place of Nineveh as the trading center on the main road from Turkey to Iran. It was 260 miles (416 km) east of the great Christian center of EDESSA, and there was a strong church there by the end of the first century.   The city reached its zenith under the Zangid Dynasty (1127-1222) but it was ravaged by MONGOLS under Hulegu. I (1258) who left as quickly as they had come. Later it was ruled for four hundred years by OTTOMAN Turks (1538-1918). This is why Turkey still view Mosul as part of their territory though it had a majority population of KURDS, who were mostly expelled under Saddam Hussain. When the American-Iraq war had ended the next Sunday (April 20, 2003) seven hundred Chaldean Christians celebrated Easter in the ancient church building.

IRAQ, Najaf Shi'as maintain that the rightful CALIPHATE descended from Ali (600-660) the cousin and son in law of MUHAMMAD. Ali's tomb and the holy MOSQUE dedicated to his name is in the Iraqi city of Najaf. The seminaries in Najaf trained the Shiite clergy (Imams, Ayatollahs, Mullahs) and influenced the theology of the second most important grouping in ISLAM for 1300 years. The deposition of the Shah and the Islamic revolution in IRAN (1979) allowed the city of Qum (see IRAN, Qum) to emerge as an important theological center for Shiites. Because of his war against Iran (1980-88 in which 1.5 million soldiers were killed) SADDAM HUSSEIN set out to destroy the power of the Shiites, who form 60% of the people of Iraq, and looked to Najaf as their spiritual center. As a result, many of the theologians of Najaf had to flee to Iran, where they taught in seminaries in Qum, and that city quickly replaced Najaf as the theological center of Shiites throughout the world. When the American war (spring 2003) broke the power of Saddam Hussein the seminaries in Najaf quickly came back to life, and Iraqi theologians returned from Iran. Having seen the result of interference in politics and the ordinary life of citizens in Iran, many of these want freedom from the domination of Qum. They also seem open to a greater separation of CHURCH AND STATE (see FIRST AMENDMENT).

IRAQ, Ottoman In the same year as the beginning of the REFORMATION (1517) the Ottoman Turks under Selim I (1512-20) took Cairo and defeated the Egyptian Mamlukes (1517). This enabled them to claim the Muslim CALIPHATEas a Turkish preserve (see OTTOMAN Empire). This was the first time a people who were not Arab by race had claimed authority over Muslims everywhere. The Ottomans began (1534) to take over parts of what is now known as Iraq During the reign of Suleiman II (1520-66) the Ottoman empire expanded west into the Balkans and east across Mesopotamia to the Persian gulf. The Ottomans were Sunnis (see SHI'AS AND SUNNIS) but they were wise enough to permit the majority Shi'a community of south-east Iraq to build magnificent MOSQUES and train their Imams in the seminaries of Najaf (see IRAQ, Najaf). They knew that the Shi'as maintained that only descendants of ALI (killed in 660) could be rightful Caliphs and leaders of ISLAM. But as long as the Shi'as did not foment revolution the Ottoman Turks turned a blind eye to this for nearly 400 years till the end of the Ottoman Empire (1918).

IRAQ, Population The population of Iraq is about 25 million people. Of this the majority (60%) are Shias and the minority (37%) are Sunnis (see SHIAS AND SUNNIS). The other (3%) include 700,000 CHALDEAN CHRISTIANS. Under SADDAM HUSSEIN the Shias were severely persecuted partly due to their connections with IRAN, which is mainly Shia. But he allowed Christians the freedom to worship, as long as nothing was said against his regime.

IRENAEUS (c.130-c.266) was apparently a native of Smyrna, one of the seven churches of Asia Minor. He studied in Rome, and was ordained in Lyons, France. He was sent on a mission to Rome (177) to discuss the prophecies of Montanus. In his absence the Bishop of Lyons was martyred, and Irenaeus was elected in his place (178). His great work, written in Greek, survived in Latin as Adversus Omnes Haereses (c.190 AD). He opposed GNOSTICISM and the prophecies of an imminent descent of the New Jerusalem by the male and female prophets of PHRYGIA. But he does not seem to have rejected the charismatic enthusiasm of MONTANISM.

IRON CURTAIN As part of the Cold War the Communists built a wall (1949) across Berlin to prevent the escape of German people to the west. This iron curtain was extended north and south to maintain Soviet control of eastern Europe.. Not one commentator predicted the end of the Iron Curtain, but thousands of people began silent, non-violent, processions holding candles through the streets of Leipzig. When the SON OF GOD came in a DAY OF THE LORD to topple the Berlin wall, within one month (November 1989) the countries of East Germany, Czechoslovakia (see PRAGUE), Hungary, and Romania were suddenly freed to enjoy DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

ISAAC (c.1852- 1672) was born when ABRAHAM was a hundred years old. By then ISHMAEL (1866-1792) was fourteen. The two sons were raised in CANAAN and spoke CANAANITE, which is the HEBREW language of most of the Old Testament. Abraham sent his servant over 500 miles north (Genesis 24) to find a wife for Isaac from his original Sumerian family that came from UR and settled in the area of ARAM near Haran (Harran). He had twin sons, JACOB, from whom the Jewish nation is descended, and ESAU from whom the Edomitess were descended (Genesis 36). The children of EDOM merged with their cousins descended from Ishmael to become the ARABS of north-west Arabia.

ISHMAEL Abraham's firstborn son was Ishmael(Genesis 16:15). When Sarah gave birth to Isaac Abraham was promised "As for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will bless him and make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation" (Genesis 17:20, see the early Arab tribes in Genesis 25:12-18). For a reconstruction of Arab origins and genealogies see Ishmael the Arab 1866 - 1792 B.C.).The QUR'AN teaches that it was Ishmael, not Isaac, who was taken to Mount Moriah (the present site of the mosque on Dome of the Rock) to be sacrificed, and God provided a LAMBto take his place (Genesis 22:1-18).

ISLAM The beginning of Islam (submission to God) as a religion could be dated in 610 AD when MUHAMMAD at the age of 40 began receiving messages, which he said were dictated to him by ALLAH (Arabic for God), and which later became the QUR'AN. A MUSLIM  is someone who submits to Islam. The five pillars of Islam sum up the basic requirements. First to recite the Creed "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet (messenger). Secondly to pray in the direction of Mecca with the seven prescribed postures and prostrations five times a day. Thirdly to give two and a half per cent of his income for religious purposes and for the poor. Except in special circumstances there must be a total fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. And whenever this becomes possible there should be a pilgrimage (haj) to circle the Kaaba in Mecca.The three main reactions to western influences are Secularism (as with Kemal Ataturk 1923-38 in Turkey), reformism (reinterpreting the Qur'an in the light of modern science and democracy), and Islamism (strict application of SHARI'A law if necessary by violent means).  Based on the Qur'an Islamism encourages the submission of women (see MARRIAGE, PATRIARCHAL) and permits men to marry more than one wife, (see POLYGAMY).

ISLAM & CHRISTIANITY Cal Thomas reported that in an interview he had (April 2003) with the Attorney General of the United States, John Ashcroft made the comment that "Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him" but "Christianity is a faith in which God sent his Son to die for you" (as explained in 1 John 4:10). The two models can also be differentiated by Islam's demand for submission to God as opposed to the Christian invitation into the love of God. At a deeper level this depends on a contrast between a UNITARIAN picture of God as Creator and Judge, and a vision of God as three Persons held together by love (see TRINITY). The latter model permits us to be adopted as children into the family oneness of God (see John 1:12, and 1 John 3:1-2, as was seen clearly by the CAPPADOCIAN FATHERS).

ISLAM AND THE STATE There are a variety of models that govern church and state relationships in Islam. The first was the CALIPHATE in which a successor of MUHAMMAD was the supreme ruler of an empire (see DAMASCUS CALIPHATE; BAGHDAD, OTTOMAN EMPIRE). An opposite model is based on a secular state. But this can exist (see TURKEY) with Islam being recognized as the religion of the majority of the people. In a MONARCHY (as in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Republic, and other Gulf States) the Sheikh or King is the absolute ruler. A council of advisors may have a measure of elected authority. But behind the scenes there is control in all religious and moral questions by the CLERICS(Imams).. In the case of Saudi Arabia the WAHHABIfundamentalists have been very powerful. In IRAN the Shah was an absolute monarch who kept the clergy under his control as he brought his country into the modern world. When he was toppled (1979), an Islamic republic was established under the control of SHI'A clerics (Ayatollahs), They ran the country under their interpretation of SHARI'A LAW. They claim a God-given authority (Velayat-e-Faqih) for an Ayatollah to sanction and oversee every detail of political and social life. For their training and seat of authority see ISLAM, Qum and Najaf)

ISLAM, Qum and Najaf For a thousand years Shi'a CLERICS were trained in the seminaries of Najaf (see IRAQ, Najaf). The opinions and decisions of the senior teachers (ayatollahs) influenced the whole SHI'A world. As soon as they toppled the Shah (1979) Shi'a ayatollahs were able to take over total control of IRAN. And the seminaries in the city of Qum (see IRAN, Qum) became very powerful. When SADDAM HUSSEIN went to war against Iran (1980-88) he broke the power of the seminaries in Najaf (see IRAQ, Najaf), and many of the top Shi'a teachers moved to Qum. With the fall of Saddam Hussein (March 2003) Najaf quickly began to regain its authority. The Najaf school does not believe in the direct interference of religion in politics. In Iraq the supreme ayatollah has traditionally been more an advisor (mentor) in matters of religion and morals. He welcomes open debate in the search for the correct interpretation of the QUR'AN. But the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claims the God-given authority (Velayat-e-Faqih) to sanction and oversee every detail of Iranian life. This is the model taught in the seminaries of Qum with currently 40,000 clergy. About 3,000 of these are expected to move from Qum to Najaf, and they may bring the model of absolute clerical authority to Iraq. As opposed to these two visions in ISLAM the model of DEMOCRACY upheld by the FIRST AMENDMENT in the American constitution provides for FREEDOM OF RELIGION and a total separation of CHURCH AND STATE. We can assume these models will underlie the political struggles of every country in the Middle East during this century.

ISLAM, Women The freeing of women in ISLAM began in Indonesia as a result of being a Dutch colony, and then under Japanese occupation, before it became a republic (1945). This was also the case in INDIA and BURMA (before 1947), African countries under British rule, and in Egypt and North Africa under French influence. There was a huge change in the status of women in TURKEY through KEMAL ATATURK (President 1923-38). Women were given similar freedoms in IRAN by Shah Riza Khan Pahlavi (ruled 1921-1979) which infuriated the Muslim clerics. They toppled the monarchy (see IRAN, Monarchy), and Iran became an Islamic THEOCRACY (1979) run by SHI'A Ayatollahs (see IRAN, Qum). When SADDAM HUSSEIN was in power, women in IRAQ could vote, enter the professions, inherit equally with their brothers, choose their own husbands, and maintain custody of their children after a divorce. Women are free to drive cars in the UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC but this is not the case in SAUDI ARABIA where the influence of WAHHABIclerics is very powerful. When SHARI'A law was enforced by the TALIBAN in AFGHANISTAN, in northern Nigeria, and the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan the legal freedom women had enjoyed was quickly ended.

ISLAMIC TERMS Translations of some words with links to other Word Thoughts:
ahl al-kitab The people of the Book (see WORD) referring to Jews and Christians
fatihah The first sura (section) of the QUR'AN
hajj The pilgrimage to Mecca required at least once in a lifetime (see HAJJ)
harun The high priest AARON brother of musa (MOSES)
iblis The devil or SATAN
id al-adh The feast to remember ibrahim(ABRAHAM) and the sacrifice of his son
imam The leader of prayers in a MOSQUE among the SHI'AS
injil The evangel or New Testament GOSPELS
isa al-masih Jesus the MESSIAH
jibra'il The angel GABRIEL
kalima The confession that there is no god but Allah and MUHAMMAD is his prophet
khalifa The successor to MUHAMMAD ruler of Islam (CALIPHATE)
jahannam Place where Allah punishes unbelievers (HELL)
muharram A month to remember the death of Hasan and Husayn (see IRAQ, Karbala)
ramadan The annual month of FASTING (RAMADAN) which ends with 'id al-fitr
salat or namaz Ritual prayer as opposed to du'a meaning free prayer (see PRAYERS)
sawm or roza Fasting (FASTING)
tawrah The Jewish Torah, or Books of Musa (MOSES)
zabur The Old Testament PSALMS
zakat Giving to those in need (ALMSGIVING)

ISRAEL Jacob was the grandson of ABRAHAM. When he tricked his twin brother Esau out of the family inheritance, his mother sent him 500 miles north to her cousins in north-west Mesopotamia (Genesis 27:43-45). On the way he met with the Son of God, and received the name Israel (Genesis 28:10-17). Like his father, he married into what was probably a Sumerian family. He had twelve children by his two wives and their two maidservants (Genesis 29:21-24, 35:22-18). His twelve children became the bene Israel (Children of Israel) just as the ARABS were called the bene Ishmael. The quarrel between the descendants of the two sons of Abraham that began when ISHMAEL was disinherited (Genesis 21:1-21) has already continued for 3,800 years, and shows no sign of being settled. When the kingdom was divided (1 Kings 12:16-24) the northern tribes chose leaders who were called Kings of Israel as opposed to the Kings of Judah. There were no kings after the exile, and the division among Jews ended as they dispersed all over the Mediterranean and to the west and east. When the Jewish State was proclaimed in 1948 the country was called Israel.

ISRAEL, Land The original Abrahamic promise was to "go to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation." When ABRAHAM arrived among the CANAANITES he was promised the land "from the river of Egypt (theWadi Arish) to the great river Jordan (not the EUPHRATES)" for his descendants (Genesis 15:18). This formed a rectangle (125 miles by 50 miles, 400 x 80 km). The Jewish people have never claimed the river Euphrates as a border. During Abraham's lifetime he was only able to buy a burial ground near the city of Hebron (Genesis 23:27). The land was first occupied under Joshua (Joshua 1:4, again reading the river Jordan, not the Euphrates). But occupation by the children of Israel was conditional on faithfulness to their calling, defined as "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). The Jews were exiled from the land for seventy years under the Babylonians. And Jesus later warned them that "My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a den of robbers" (Matthew 21:13). Unless there was a radical change, the second temple would be destroyed in that generation (Matthew 24:1-2) as happened in AD 70.. The city of Jerusalem was finally leveled in 135 AD, and the Jewish children of Israel were excluded from the land for 1800 years.