UKRAINE Vladimir I, Grand Prince of Kiev (980-1015) was baptized (985 AD). Kiev was a center of monastic life, and the capital of Kyivan Rus, the first Slavic state. It soon became the largest and most powerful state in Europe. But the MONGOLS took Kiev and massacred the inhabitants (1240). They pillaged and took tribute till they withdrew to China. Kyivan Rus was then incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian state. Russia gained control of eastern Ukraine (1667) but the Ukraine managed to remain somewhat autonomous for well over 100 years till the whole territory came under Russian control. As a result of Napoleon's defeat (1812) the Congress of Vienna (1815) awarded the Duchy of Warsaw to Russia. After the Russian Revolution the Ukraine was a republic (1917-20), but it was brought back under brutal Soviet rule and LENIN created an artificial famine (1921-22) to break the power of the Kulaks (peasants). STALIN caused another artificial famine (1932-33) to prevent opposition.. Over 8 million died in these two famines and another 7 million died in World War II.. Under Communism the Russian Orthodox churches were tolerated, but the Roman Catholic church buildings in the Ukraine were closed down. After the collapse of Communism (1989), the Ukrainian Catholic churches regained many of their buildings. They have a large amount of independence from Rome as a UNIAT denomination. This allows them to retain a married priesthood and the Eastern Rite in their liturgy. But Rome had rejected their right (1971) to have their own Patriarchate.

UKRAINIAN CATHOLICS Under the Czars the only recognized denomination was Russian Orthodox. But many Christians in the Ukraine viewed themselves, together with their neighbor Polish churches, as in in communion with the Pope in Rome (see UNIAT). Under Stalin and the Communists both the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholics were allowed to meet but they suffered constant persecution, and millions of Ukrainians died of starvation. With the break-up of the U.S.S.R. after the fall of the iron curtain in 1989, Ukrainian Catholics restored their church buildings, and they flocked back to worship in them. They had used Latin for their services until Pope John XXIII allowed people to worship in their own language. Now they read the Bible and worship in the Ukrainian language. As numerous Ukrainian Catholic congregations have formed in North America, more and more English is used in their services.

UNBWOGABLE In December 2002 a democratic revolution toppled the massive corruption of the 39 year Moi regime in Kenya. Already changes in the direction of new hope and confidence are impressive. The theme song of the followers of Mwai Kibaki who is now President was "Who can bwogo me?". In the Luo language bwogo means to scare, and the writers coined the term "unbwogable" to describe those who refuse to be intimidated . The song sung all over Kenya, and now coming out on CDs in North America goes: "I am unbwogable; I am unbeatable. So if you like my song, take it from me. Who can bwogo me? I am unbwogable." LUTHERsaid "Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times. This knowledge and confidence in God's grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all his creatures." That was the quality of faith expressed in Luther's hymn Ein' feste Burg (1529). "And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God has willed his truth to triumph through us." I predict that by the end of this year among young people "Don't bwogo me" will take the place of "Don't try to intimidate me." Whether "unbwogable" will replace "a faith that nothing can intimidate" remains to be seen.

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE A popular Jesuit writer defined unconditional love as a message of freedom. "You can be whoever you are, express all your thoughts and feelings with absolute confidence. You do not have to be fearful that love will be taken away. You will not be punished for your openness or honesty" (John Powell, Unconditional Love, Niles, Illinois: Argus Communications, 1978, 67-68). At their best, some parents love their children unconditionally. It is also the kind of love we appreciate from our partner. A friend is defined as "one who knows the worst about you and loves you just the same." In its perfect and original form it is the love of God. "There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you could ever do to make God love you less" (Virginia Mollenkott). But parents who love their children do not let them go wild and do whatever they please. That is why our world is designed with inbuilt consequences, and our Lord intervenes in WRATH with a view to the perfect love of heaven. The love of the Holy Spirit is also unconditional. He can cope with the worst of human thoughts and feelings, and his inspiration is free for the asking. A dismal heresy is the idea that I have to improve myself sufficiently before the Holy Spirit will sanctify me.

UNIAT Several denominations in Eastern Christendom are in communion with the Pope in Rome, but they are allowed to use their ancient liturgies (see for example the UKRAINIAN CATHOLICS, MARONITES, and some ARMENIANSand COPTS). They were also given the right to retain their own canon law which provided for major differences such as communion in both kinds, baptism of children by immersion, and the marriage of their clergy. This means that bishops of these Uniat church groupings have overlapping dioceses. The Uniat model has been proposed as a way to achieve the goal of CHURCH UNION. Anglicans, Lutherans, and others would retain their prayer book and traditions (including that of married clergy and bishops) in a loose federation with the Pope recognized as presiding bishop. This has not been possible due to questions of who has supreme authority in matters of faith and morality.

UNITARIAN Except in the ancient ideas of Greek and Hindu polytheism, all religions agree that God is one. The difference between a Unitarian and a Trinitarian model of God is not the unity of God, but the nature of the unity of God. The Muslim argument for Unitarianism (as also among the Jehovah's Witnesses) is that faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit adds up to three Gods. But Christians explain that there is a complexity within the oneness of God. Any kind of life is complex. How could a mathematical oneness create the incredible complexity of our world? Arius' explanation (See ARIANISM) was that long before the origin of our universe the Son of God was created to bring our world and humans into being. That would mean that the love of God was not eternal. How could one eternal Person love alone? In Trinitarian Theism God is a oneness of three Persons held together by their eternal love. The different functions of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as described in the New Testament are affirmed in the Nicene Creed. Jesus said we were to make and baptize disciples in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), and Christian teaching then explains how we relate to each of the three Persons, who together work to perfect us in love.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE) When the British withdrew from control of the Trucial States (1971) the United Arab Emirates were established along the Arabian coast to the south of the Persian Gulf. Bahrein and Qatar did not join the UAE. Each of the seven states in the federation is ruled by a Sheikh. Based on huge oil revenues the wealthiest of these are the Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. Though the UAE is an Islamic nation, thousands of foreign workers are free to worship in designated church buildings. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai for example the Anglican chaplaincies take many DENOMINATIONS under their wing, and services of various kinds go on constantly from morning to night on Fridays, the Muslim holiday. There are also Christian church services after work on SUNDAY.



UNIVERSALS Philosophers and theologians used to face off with Realists on one team and Nominalists on the other. The realists believed there were real objective universals out there (or in the mind of God) such as truth, beauty, justice, love. The nominalists said there were only names of particular things ("that is true, beautiful, just, loving"). Wittgenstein offered a way to sail between them. There are no metaphysical universals. To say that "red exists" (or any other universal exists) is a metaphysical statement without meaning (Investigations 58, 116). On the other hand for people to understand one another as they engage in a particular form of life they have to agree in the use of some more or less exact language game rules. Within the games of chess, bridge and football there are universals such as check-mate, trumps and touch-downs. The language-game is an objective reality but only for those who agree to engage in that form of life. There are no universals out there called Malaria, Small Pox, or Anthrax, but for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment doctors agree to use a precise language-game that defines those terms. Similarly in our present crisis there is no such thing as Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Civilization, Terrorism, or American values. There are just millions of individuals who give this or that explanation. But when a group of people begin to use the same language-games for justice, freedom, rights, or God, we can give them a name, but it is a universal only in that group. And it takes a lot of work for others to grasp what they are talking about.

UNIVERSITY, Model Shifts Many assume that a university merely imparts knowledge. But a first result of scholars being free to discuss with each other is the creation of models to overthrow what was previously defined as unquestionable (Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962). At Oxford University John WYCLIFFE (c.1329-84) wrote De Potestate Papae (c.1349) he showed that the Pope's claims were a denial of Scripture and in De Eucharistia he rejected the doctrine of transubstantiation. As a result he is called "The Morning Star of the Reformation." Copernicus (1473-1543) and Galileo 1564-1642) argued that the earth is not the center of the universe, and that it and the other planets revolve around the sun. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) wrote Le Contrat Social (1762) which offered a model for the ideas of the French Revolution (1789) and later theories of modern DEMOCRACY. Karl MARX (1818-83) studied in and around universities in Germany and Paris, where he and Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848), and then in London he wrote Das Kapital (1867, see COMMUNISM). When university students get a vision of a major model shift, they in turn provide the energy to force changes in society. A Christian model of reality is mostly despised, but it has been presented in universities through the Inter-Varsity Fellowship and its connected movements all over the world (see my own conversion in Autobio 2000 chapter 5).

UNIVERSITIES, Europe The first universities in Europe were in Bologna (c.1100), Paris (c.1150), Oxford (1167), Cambridge (1209), Prague (1348). They were also founded in the new world in Lima, Peru (1551), Mexico City (1551), Cordoba, Argentina (1621), Santiago, Chile (1737). In each case the language of instruction was Latin, and the faculties included Theology as the Queen of the sciences, Canon Law, Civil Law, Mathematics, and Medicine in some centers. Students were free to attach themselves for shorter or longer periods to a professor who undertook to train them in the discipline of their choice. After three years in residence (eating together in hall was required at Oxford and Cambridge) the student was called a Bachelor of that university, and two or more years later was counted as a Master with the right to teach others. But in all cases it was assumed that a Trinitarian faith in God was an essential part of a university education, and a professor could be expelled for teaching heresy. Obviously that is no longer the case anywhere.

UNIVERSITIES, United States The first North American universities were all founded as a means of training men for ministry in a Christian denomination. They included Harvard for Puritans (1636), William and Mary for the Church of England (1693), Yale for the Congregational ministry (1701), Princeton for Presbyterians (1746), Brown for Baptists (1765), Rutgers for the Dutch Reformed (1766), Dartmouth for Congregationalists (1769). Within a hundred years or so each of these abandoned their Christian basis of faith as universities became heavily funded centers for research, especially in the sciences, medicine, and engineering. More and more a Ph.D. was required for teaching. Meanwhile many skills which used to be learned in other ways have become university disciplines such as the learning of languages, history, psychology, sociology, politics, business, drama, women's studies, and comparative religion. The mediaeval idea of theology as the proper foundation for knowledge, wisdom, and law has been totally lost. Christian colleges are founded here and there with a Christian basis of faith, but the number of students touched in this way is small compared with the vast resources of secular universities.

UPANISHADS The original scriptures of Hinduism are the VEDAS which were hymns sung by the invading Aryan tribes in their worship based on animal sacrifice (c.1800-1000 BC). But far more influential in Hindu thinking are the writings called the Upanishads (composed c.600-300 BC). They are part of the SIXTH CENTURY REVOLT against the priestcraft of the ancient world (Religion: Origins and Ideas, Chapter 3). In India this took the form of rejecting Brahmin authority and rituals to engage in personal meditation in the hope of attaining freedom from the maya (imagination) of this world. The Upanishads were based on a philosophical model that named ultimate reality as Brahman (the supreme soul) There are some rules (DHARMA) for the conduct of ceremonies by the Brahmin priests, but morality is not part of the way of salvation (see MONISM). The supreme goal is to merge one's individual soul with the Absolute. But since the Absolute is the only reality, the physical universe and our own human existence is maya (imagination). And one way of moksha (being freed) from the round of reincarnation (samsara) is by realizing that what seems real is not reality. In the way of salvation offered by the Upanishads attachment to our human personality is a fatal error, and when we merge with the absolute (like a drop of water going back into the ocean) we cease to be individuals. This model is in total contrast to the good news of the New Testament where our personality is not destroyed but perfected in love by the power of the Holy Spirit. Heaven is not pictured as an impersonal ocean but a city of nations and people in relation to one another (John 14:1-2, Revelation 21:22-26).

UR was one of the great SUMERIANcities (Ur, Kish, Umma, Lagash) in the district of Chaldea of the area called Sumer (from present day Basra to Baghdad in Iraq). It was a busy seaport at the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf. Ships travelled to Dilmun and up the Indus to the INDUS VALLEY. By the time of ABRAHAM (Genesis 11:28-31, 15:7) the SUMERIAN LANGUAGE spoken in Ur was already being replaced by the Hamitic (see HAM) language known as AKKADIAN. As power moved from maritime trade to the cities and armies of ASSYRIA, Ur declined in importance.

VATICAN Symmachus (498-514) may have been the first Pope to have a residence on Mons vaticanus, the site of the circus of Nero (Emperor 54-68 AD). This residence was rebuilt (c. 1200) by Pope Innocent III, and extended by Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280). But it fell into disrepair while Popes resided in Avignon (1309-1377). The Vatican in Rome became the principal residence of Popes from 1377 and it was extended in 1410 and 1447. Sixtus IV built offices and residences for the cardinals, and the Sistine Chapel was built (1473-81). Michelangelo (1475-1564) later painted its magnificent ceiling (1508-1512). St. Peter's was planned by Nicholas V (Pope 1447-55) and built under a succession of architects. Indulgences to pay for the building were sold (1516) by the friar Tetzel (c. 1465-1519) and other DOMINICANS . This was the spark that ignited (1517) the REFORMATION (see Martin LUTHER). But the vast building project continued (using Michelangelo's design for the enormous dome of the Basilica). After many changes over a hundred years St. Peter's was finished in 1614 and consecrated by Urban VIII (November 18, 1626). The Vatican (108 acres) was granted the right to be an independent city (1871), and the Lateran Treaty (1929) made it a sovereign state with its own ambassadors under the direct rule of the Pope..

VATICAN COUNCIL Within a year of being elected, POPE JOHN XXIII(Pope1958-63) summoned bishops and theologians from all over the world for the Second Vatican Council (after careful preparation it met 1962-65). Its greatest achievement was the fact that it was a collegial gathering with genuine theological discussion based on the Bible. The most obvious change for Roman Catholics and others who attended services was that the Latin liturgy for the communion service (mass) was replaced by the vernacular language of each country. The problem for many Roman Catholics is that the new directions that seemed to be opening up in the Second Vatican Council have been closed off, and the denomination has reverted to tight control by the Curia (the bureaucracy in Rome).

VEDAS The Aryan tribes that invaded north India (c.2000-1500 BC?) spoke Sanskrit, which is from the original INDO-EUROPEAN linguistic root of Japheth (Genesis 10:2-5). When they gathered around the sacred fire (agni) to eat meat, drink soma, and pray, they sang sacred songs which are now preserved in books called the Vedas (from the root vid to know, Greek oida, Latin video). The Rig Veda is the Royal Veda of about 1028 praise songs (said to be by a hundred authors). The Sama Veda (Sanskrit samani meaning sacred chants sung during animal sacrifice) has about 1225 stanzas common with the Rig Veda. The Yajur Veda is in prose, consisting of ritual formulae uttered (in a ritual monotone) by the priest at various stages of offering animal sacrifice. The Atharva Veda was a much later compilation of spells, charms and sorcery incantations when the simple worship of the head of the tribe had been taken over by Brahmin priests, and tended to become magic (Religion: Origins and Ideas, chapter 2). The early Vedas had many names for God (see HENOTHEISM) but they have no trace of the later Hindu idea transmigration, which the Aryans learned from the defeated INDUS VALLEY civilization (which was connected at least by trade with the SUMERIANS).

VEGETARIANISM The most thorough-going explanatory model for vegetarianism as a religion is set out in JAINISM.. It is based on ahimsa which was originally defined as not harming any living thing. And that included humans, animals, fish, and even insects. To this day in India a Jain will avoid killing an ant, mosquito or a bedbug. But for many vegetarians it is not the logic of KARMA that moves them but feelings of revulsion from visiting a stockyard and meat packing plant, or the sight of chickens fattened in stacks of little boxes. How do we explain that Jesus served fish in the feeding of the 5,000, and actually ate fish after his resurrection (Luke 24:41-43, John 21:9-10)? With his family he shared in the Passover which focused on eating a lamb that was sacrificed for the occasion. We live in a world in which 99.999% of animals, fish, birds, and insects die a violet death and are eaten by others. They all give their life so others can live. But that is only a temporary situation. Paul wrote that "the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:21, see Isaiah 65:25). Meanwhile "the Kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). That means eating or refraining from eating meat is a matter of personal choice.

VENDETTA In some cultures (as used to happen in Corsica and Sicily) families were required to take revenge for a murder. This resulted in a blood feud of continual mutual RETALIATION. It could only end with the death of all concerned or by Jesus's principle of turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-39, see EYE FOR AN EYE).


VIENNA, Early The Romans set up a military camp at the confluence of the Danube and the Wien River. The town was devastated by Attila the Hun (443, 447) and lay dormant for a thousand years till the Austrian margraves (princes of petty states) moved to the city (c.1150) and built walls to protect it (1200). The University of Vienna was founded in 1365. Europe was grateful and impressed when Vienna held out in two terrible sieges by the Ottoman Turks (1529 and 1683). Joseph II (1741-90) was emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Bohemia (1780-90). By the Toleranzpatent (1781) he took the radical step of allowing FREEDOM OF RELIGION for non-Catholic DENOMINATIONS. He also abolished serfdom and ended torture and the death penalty. As a result Vienna prospered and tripled in size in thirty years to two million citizens.

VIENNA, Modern Napoleon occupied the city (1805 and 1809), and blasted away its wall and forts. This made room for the magnificent Ringstrasse boulevard around the inner city. This was the era of Mozart (1756-91 who gained success in Vienna from 1782), Beethoven (1770-1827, who moved to Vienna 1792), Schubert (1797-1828) , and the waltzes of Johann Strauss (1825-99). The city became a center of the arts and sciences. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Alfred Adler (1870-1937) began the science of psycho-therapy in Vienna. This website owes much to Ludwig WITTGENSTEIN(1889-1951) who was born and raised in that very creative city (see Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin, Wittgenstein's Vienna, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973). But in the excitement of its cultural glory Vienna had forgotten its Christian heritage, and it faced its DAY OF THE LORD when it was incorporated (anschluss) into Hitler's Germany (March 1938). After the war DEMOCRACY was restored to Austria in November 1945, but it remained under Russian control till 1955. .

VINCENTIAN CANON To deal with the question of what should be recognized as true (as opposed to false) DOCTRINE Vincent of Lerins proposed what became known as the Vincentian Canon (probably before 450 AD). He used the words quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum (what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all). It was a useful way of pointing out innovations of the heretics, but it does not help us much in questions of doctrine in our day. John Henry NEWMAN (1801-90) wrote his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845, see DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE). He argued that we must begin with what is clearly written in Scripture, and the interpretations of the early church Fathers, but it is the church of Rome which alone has the authority of the Holy Spirit to make doctrinal changes, and these can be promulgated by the Pope speaking ex cathedra. The Greek word cathedra means a throne, and here it means the official seat of the Bishop of a Diocese.But it is only the pronouncements of the Bishop of Rome that are authoritative for all Christians.

VINDICATION In many parts of the world JUSTICE is what a person can afford. Even in well-ordered countries people are falsely accused, defrauded, and denied opportunities for themselves and their families. WIDOWS are often deprived of their property (Exodus 22:22, Deuteronomy 27:19, Isaiah 1:23, 10:2, Matthew 23:14). God's people are required to "execute justice for the orphans and widows" (Deuteronomy 10:18, 24:17) but often there is no such correction of gross injustice. That is why we have the right to cry out "Vindicate me, O LORD" (Psalm 26:1, 35:24, 43:1, 54:1). The cry easily becomes one of the IMPRECATORY PSALMS (e.g. 28:4-5, 69:22-28, 109:6-17). Those cries horrify us, but they are a needed safety valve for some, and God does not have to do what we angrily ask. But when we are unjustly treated in our family, work place, or by an oppressive government, we have the promise that "He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday" (Psalm 37:6). That is why Paul could write "Leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written 'vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord" (Romans 12:19). And, after being delivered from certain death in Ephesus, he said "Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds" (2 Timothy 4:14).

VINE A vine branch on its own can do absolutely nothing, and it has no other function but fruit bearing. But the parable of the Vine (John 15:1-5) explains that the impossible task of producing spiritual fruit is really very simple. It involves a relationship to each of the three Persons of the Trinity. We look away in faith from our own frailty to the Son of God. As we do this we keep ourselves open to the sap from the Vine (the Holy Spirit) to produce our own particular kind of fruit in due course. We should imagine every branch producing a different kind of fruit (oranges, pears, plums, apples, cherries) corresponding to the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-25). Which means we might not understand what the Spirit is doing in the life of others. What is common to any kind of Christian fruit is its flavor and quality of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). The only problem with being filled with the Spirit is that we find ourselves energized to grow in all directions, and we have the painful experience of the Vine Grower (God the Father) coming in to prune what is not needed for fruitfulness. So when something that we thought was important is cut away, faith is knowing that is not the end of the story.

VIRUS We all know a cold takes a week if you take no medicine. Some drugs can alleviate the symptoms, but it still takes seven days. We also know we get it from someone else, usually when we are tired or run down. Scientists say the culprit is a sub-microscopic strand of genetic material coated with protein that invades our body. And they have just synthesized a polio virus (see Reviews, James Brean article, June 13, 2002). Viruses are obviously alive because they can multiply themselves in living cells, and give us mumps, rabies, or AIDS. We are attacked by viruses every day, but usually our immune system can take care of them, and hopefully cures will be found, even for the common cold. The church in each city is defined as a body (see CHURCH, Body) and normally our immune system can take care of the metaphorical viruses that attack us. But we are vulnerable when we are careless, tired or run down. The churches in Antioch and Iconium were attacked by a deadly form of LEGALISM (Galatians 1:6-7, 3:1-3). The church in Pergamum caught the Nicolaitan (see ANTINOMIAN) virus and Thyatira was attacked by SATANISM (Revelation 2:15).

VISIGOTHS This is the name of the GOTHS who established a kingdom in Spain and France.

VISION The Latin verb video meant I see. In Greek that became oida meaning I know, I understand. The Sanskrit root was vid from which the Hindus got the Vedas, which were songs describing visions of God. In the Bible we have the visions of Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Apostle John. In model theology the word vision refers to a way of seeing reality. And when that is seen clearly it become a model for living one's life. ABRAHAM was a rancher on the move but he "looked forward to the city that has foundations whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10). This means that his vision was already the end product that God had in mind, a CITY where all nations would make their contribution to its glory (Revelation 21:22-26). For a LEADER vision means seeing further ahead than others, and clarifying that vision, which he or she can then communicate to the whole organization. It is "the ability to create a coherent framework within which charged-up people search for appropriate adaptations . . . It gives them a sense of a highly valued purpose" (Thomas J. Peters & Robert H. Waterman, In Search of Excellence, New York: Harper & Row, 1982,1983 pp. 51 & 57).

VISITING The Greek word historeo originally meant to inquire (from which we get 'history'). Later it came to mean "a visit for the purpose of coming to know someone." Paul wrote "After three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit (historeo) Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days" (Galatians 1:18). What did they do for two weeks? Eugene H. Peterson pointed out that the word historeo has a colloquial tone to it - "The two men traded stories" (Traveling Light: Reflections on the Free Life, Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982, p. 53). Paul wanted to hear all he could about Peter's experiences of being with Jesus and the founding of the church. And Paul shared the story of his conversion and the three years he had spent in Arabia. This suggests that a good visit is not to lecture or convert someone. The one aim is to share with each other. It may result in a change of attitude, but that cannot be forced. It is a by-product of "coming to know someone." And it is obvious that women do that much better than men. Males usually have an agenda in mind.

VOODOO The folk religion of Haiti is known as Voodoo (from vodun meaning a spirit). It is a combination of western African tribal ANIMISM with some Roman Catholic practices such as baptism, making the sign of the cross, the use of the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary, candles and the ringing of bells. But the primary aim is to placate the spirits which are of three kinds. The hundreds of loa (also called mysteres or anges) can be any of the Catholic or African saints. As in African tribal religion, the spirits of the dead also need to be honored. The third grouping are the marasa (twins) in the community. In each kind of service by the use of loud drumming, dancing, and chanting, the spirits are invited to possess the worshipers. The possessed ones may give advice and prescribe for the sick, but they do not remember what was done while they were in the trance. Some of the possessed are initiated to become priests (hungan) and priestesses (mambo). They may take part in the services, and practice magic, without forming part of an organized denomination or hierarchy.

VOTING The Hebrew verb for choosing (bakhar) is used for a careful, well-thought out human choice, as with Lot's choice of the Jordan Valley (Genesis 13:11), Moses' choice of assistants (Exodus 18:25), David's choice of five smooth stones (1 Samuel 17:40) and Jonathan as a friend (1 Samuel 20:30). In over 180 cases it refers to God's choosing Israel (Deuteronomy 7:6-11, 14:2), Jerusalem (1 Kings 14:21), and various leaders for particular functions. There is not one example of a decision made by casting a ballot or majority voting (see POLITICAL EQUALITY).. Among Jews in New Testament times voting was used in a trial for heresy. Paul said that before his conversion "I cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death" (Acts 26:10). And voting was the usual method of appointing elders in Jewish synagogues. This seems to have been the method used in the choice of leaders for the first Christian churches. There was a vote to select seven men to be the first elders of the Greek speaking congregation in the church of Jerusalem, and in this case the actual appointment was made by the apostles (Acts 6:3).

VULGATE There were early Latin translations of the original Greek of the New Testament by the second century, but variants had been introduced by generations of copyists. In 382 AD Pope Damasus ordered his secretary JEROME (c.342-420) to prepare an authoritative text. He had the New Testament based on the original Greek text completed by 384 AD (perhaps 386). Instead of using the SEPTUAGINT Greek translation of the Old Testament, he worked from the Hebrew original and he had this completed by about 404 AD. His work became known as the Vulgate (editio vulgata) which, with further corrections, became the standard Bible in Europe for a thousand years till the first English translations by John WYCLIFFE(c.1329-84) and others. Roman Catholics continued to view the Vulgate as their authorized version till the publication of the English Jerusalem Bible (1966). This was revised in 1985 based on the French revision of the Bible de Jerusalem (1973).