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Internet Evolution: A Timeline History of the Network
Daniel McGlynn is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He took his first assignment about bitcoin and digital currencies in 2014, and has been writing about emerging decentralized technologies ever since.
The internet was created to make sharing information easier, but over time it has become a natural extension of the way we communicate with each other. Today, as our personal information is continuously harvested and a pandemic forces even more of our working and social lives online, understanding this global network is more important than ever.
For the past 50 years, a struggle has unfolded between thinkers, technologists, and creators within the internet community on one side and the influence of governments and corporations on the other. The former generally advocates an open internet that’s free for all to access, while the latter pushes for a closed internet that’s more structured and controlled.
This conflict is entering a new phase. Tensions have flared around the increased centralization of web services, which collect troves of vulnerable data and are controlled by large companies and effective monopolies. As the number of global internet users continues to grow and the network becomes increasingly indispensable, the latest battles revolve around personal data ownership, privacy, and security.
Over the last decade, new technologies have enabled the promise of developing alternatives to the internet’s centralized hubs, inspiring a movement toward the decentralization of data and power. Instead of proprietary infrastructure, monopolistic internet businesses, and monetization strategies that feed on attention and surveillance, decentralized technologies can enable secure products and services that safeguard privacy and restore balance to the web.
With that in mind, here’s a brief history of how we got here…
1963 • J.C.R. Licklider, a director at the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), is studying systems to support military “command and control.” Addressing a memo to “Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network,” he describes a time-sharing network with standard languages that researchers can use to access data and programs from different computers.
1969 • ARPANET launches, creating the core of what will become the internet. The project will grow from an initial four-node network to gradually connect an increasing number of computer science projects at universities and government institutions. Building on the work of computer scientist Leonard Kleinrock, it implements the concept of dividing data into packets that can be efficiently transmitted across different network paths and reassembled at their destination.
1972 • Electrical engineer Robert Kahn gives the first public demonstration of the ARPANET at the International Computer Communication Conference, featuring terminals that can access computers located across the country. Email, the internet’s first killer app, is integrated into the network’s File Transfer Protocol (FTP), the standard for transferring files between computers.
World Wide Web Timeline
Since its founding in 1989, the World Wide Web has touched the lives of billions of people around the world and fundamentally changed how we connect with others, the nature of our work, how we discover and share news and new ideas, how we entertain ourselves and how communities form and function.
The timeline below is the beginning of an effort to capture both the major milestones and small moments that have shaped the Web since 1989. It is a living document that we will update with your contributions. To suggest an item to add to the timeline, please message us.
- The World Wide Web begins as a CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) project called ENQUIRE, initiated by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee. Other names considered for the project include “The Information Mesh” and “The Mine of Information.”
- AOL launches its Instant Messenger chat service and begins welcoming users with the iconic greeting “>”You’ve got mail!”
- The NeXT Computer used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN. (Wikipedia)
- 42% of American adults have used a computer.
- World’s first website and server go live at CERN, running on Tim Berners-Lee’s NeXT computer, which bears the message “This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER DOWN!”
- Tim Berners-Lee develops the first Web browser WorldWideWeb. , the first tool to search the internet is developed by McGill University student Alan Emtage.
- Researchers rig up a live shot of a coffee pot so they could tell from their computer screens when a fresh pot had been brewed. Later connected to the World Wide Web, it becomes the first webcam.
- CERN places its World Wide Web technology in the public domain, donating it to the world.
- The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) releases Mosaic 1.0, the first web browser to become popular with the general public. “The web as we know it begins to flourish,” Wired later writes.
- The New York Times writes about the Web browser Mosaic and the World Wide Web for the first time. “Think of it as a map to the buried treasures of the Information Age.”
- Marc Andreessen proposes the IMG HTML tag to allow the display of images on the Web.
- 11 million American households are “equipped to ride the information superhighway.”
- One of the first known Web purchases takes place: a pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese from Pizza Hut.
- President Bill Clinton’s White House comes online. by Stanford University graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo. They originally named the site “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.”
- The first banner ad for hotwired.com appears, with the text “Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE? —> YOU WILL.”
- Two lawyers post the first massive, commercial spam message with the subject “Green Card Lottery -Final One?”
- 18 million American homes are now online, but only 3% of online users have ever signed on to the World Wide Web.
- Amazon.com opens for business, billing itself as the “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore.”
- Craig Newmark starts craigslist, originally an email list of San Francisco events.
- Match.com, the first online dating site, launches.
- Entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar launches eBay, originally named “AuctionWeb.” He lists the first item for sale: a broken laser pointer. A collector purchases it for $14.83.
- Chris Lamprecht becomes the first person to be banned from the internet by judicial decree. “I told the judge computers were my life,” Lamprecht later recalled.
- Netscape IPO starts the gold rush mentality for Web startups.
- Microsoft releases Windows 95 and the first version of Internet Explorer.
- Web hosting service GeoCities launches.
- 77% of online users send or receive e-mail at least once every few weeks, up from 65% in 1995.
- Nokia releases the Nokia 9000 Communicator, the first cellphone with internet capabilities.
- HoTMaiL launches as one of the world’s first Webmail services, its name a reference to the HTML internet language used to build webpages. , a 3D animation, becomes one of the first viral videos.
- Millions “visit Mars – on the internet” – the Jet Propulsion Lab allows people to watch the Sojourner rover landing and exploration of Mars. The broadcast generates about 40 million to 45 million hits each day.
- Netflix launches as a company that sends DVDs to homes via mail. launches as Jomax Technologies.
- Google.com registers as a domain.
- Jorn Barger becomes the first person to use the term “Weblog” to describe the list of links on his website.
- 20% of Americans get news from the internet at least once a week, up from 4% in 1995.
- AOL launches AOL 4.0 and inundates American homes with CD-ROM mailers. AOL membership jumps from 8 million to 16 million members.
- The Internet Corporations for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) takes over responsibility for the coordination of the global internet’s systems of unique identifiers.
- Pew Research Center tests online polling with mixed results.
- 41% of adults are using the internet and the weather is the most popular online news attraction.
- MP3 downloading service Napster launches, overloading high-speed networks in college dormitories. Many colleges ban the service and it is later shut down for enabling the illegal sharing of music files.
- Yahoo! acquires GeoCities for $3.6 billion.
- 43% of internet users say they would miss going online “a lot,” up from 32% in 1995.
- 78% of internet users who download music don’t think it’s stealing to save music files to their computer hard drives.
40 million Americans – or 48% of internet users – have purchased a product online.
The average internet user spends 83 minutes online.
- 55 million people now go online from work and 44% of those who have internet access at work say their use of the internet helps them do their jobs.
- Screenshot by Wired
- 11% of American internet users follow the returns on election night online. One-in-ten internet users sign up for political email newsletters and news alerts during the campaign.
- Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg launches thefacebook.com. 1,200 Harvard students sign up within the first 24 hours. Facebook goes on to become the world’s biggest social networking site, with over a billion users worldwide.
- Google starts trading on the NASDAQ at $85 a share.
- Social news website Digg launches. Digg users vote to “digg up” links that they like and “bury” down those they don’t. .
- Massively multiplayer online role-playing game(MMORPG) World of Warcraft launches.
- 8% of adult American internet users say they participate in sports fantasy leagues online.
- 9% of internet users (13 million Americans) went online to donate money to the victims of Gulf Coast hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
About one-in-six online adults – 25 million people – have sold something online.
- The late Senator Ted Stevens describes the internet as “a series of tubes,” during a 2006 speech on net neutrality. His quote is mocked by Boing Boing and the Daily Show and inspires YouTube remixes. . YouTube founders Chad and Steve announce the Google acquisition in a “>video recorded in a parking lot: “The king of search and the king of video have gotten together.”
- Twitter launches. Founder Jack Dorsey sends the first tweet: “just setting up my twttr”
- 36% of American online adults consult Wikipedia. have at least heard about “>Hillary and Bill Clinton’s video parody of the final episode of “The Sopranos” and 19% have actually seen it.
- 36% of Americans say they would have a hard time giving up their Blackberry or other wireless email device, up from 6% in 2002.
- Apple releases its first iPhone, priced at $499 for 4GB and $599 for 8G.
- Estonia becomes the world’s first country to use internet voting in a parliamentary election.
- Three-quarters (74%) of internet users – or 55% of the entire U.S. adult population — say they went online during the presidential election to take part in or get news and information about the campaign.
- 19% of cellphone owners say they have gone online with their phones.
- Google releases the Chrome Web browser. is introduced.
- Deal-of-the-day website Groupon launches.
- Apple launches its App Store with 552 applications. , but the two companies cannot agree on a purchase price.
- World of Warcraft hits 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. Guinness Book of World Records names it the most popular MMORPG.
- 69% of Americans turn to the internet to cope with and understand the recession.
- Microsoft’s Bing search engine launches.
- Twitter raises $98 million from investors, valuing the company at a whopping $1 billion.
- The Web is transfixed by the tale of a six-year-old boy flying over Colorado in a weather balloon. The story later proves to be a hoax.
- Kanye West’s VMA outburst sparks an internet meme.
- Viral videos like David After Dentist, Susan Boyle, “>Baby Dancing to Beyonce, and the JK Wedding Entrance Dance launch ordinary people into newfound Web stardom.
- 35% of adults have cell phones with apps, but only two-thirds actually use them.
- Social photo-sharing sites Pinterest and Instagram launch.
- Wikileaks collaborates with major media organizations to release U.S. diplomatic cables.
- Ex-Facebook employees launch user-based question and answer site Quora.
- 15% of social media-using teens say they have been the target of online meanness.
- 68% of all Americans say the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to communicate with members.
- LinkedIn reaches 100 million users and debuts on NYSE. for $8.5 billion.
- Google+ launches.
- Young Egyptians use the hashtags #Egypt and #Jan25 on Twitter to spread the word about the Egyptian Revolution. The government responds by shutting down the internet.
- Rebecca Black’s “ &feature=kp”>Friday” becomes a YouTube sensation.
- Among the 13% of US adults who made a financial contribution to a presidential candidate, 50% donated online or via email.
- Facebook reaches 1 billion monthly active users, making it the dominant social network worldwide. Some analysts start calling it “Facebookistan.” The company buys Instagram for $1 billion and debuts on NASDAQ at $38 a share.
- South Korean music star PSY’s “ &feature=kp”>Gangnam Style” video surpasses Justin Bieber’s “ &feature=kp”>Baby” as the most viewed video ever, with over 800 million views.
- Ecommerce sales top $1 trillion worldwide.
- The Internet Society founds the Internet Hall of Fame to “celebrate people who bring the internet to life.”
- A majority (56%) of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind.
- 51% of U.S. adults bank online.
- Former CIA employee and NSA contractor Edward Snowden turns over thousands of classified documents to media organizations, exposing a top-secret government data surveillance program.
- Apple says app store downloads top 40 billion, with 20 billion in 2012 alone.
- Twitter files for its long-awaited IPO. Shares soar 73% above their IPO price of $26 a share on the first day of trading.
We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.
&mdash Twitter (@Twitter) September 12, 2013
Ancient Jewish History: The Birth and Evolution of Judaism
The Hebrew religion gave us monotheism it gave us the concept of rule by law it gave us the concept that the divine works its purpose on human history through human events it gave us the concept of the covenant, that the one god has a special relationship to a community of humans above all others. In the West, in the Middle East, in most of Africa and Asia, the legacy of Hebrew religion permeates nearly everything you see.
The Hebrew religion, so important and far-reaching in its influence on human culture, did not spring up overnight. Along with the Hebrew history, the development of Hebrew religion was a long and rocky road. Major shifts in the Hebrew fate inspired revolutions in the religion itself it wasn't until sometime after the Exilic period that the central document of Hebrew faith, the Torah, took its final and orthodox shape.
Through archaeology and analysis of Hebrew scriptures, scholars have divided the development of the Hebrew religion into four main periods.
Pre-Mosaic Stage (1950-1300 BCE)
Little or nothing can be known for certain about the nature of Hebrew worship before the migration from Egypt. In Hebrew history, Abraham is already worshipping a figure called "Elohim," which is the plural for "lord." This figure is also called "El Shaddai" ("God the Mountaineer (?)," translated as "God Almighty"), and a couple other variants. The name of God, Yahweh, isn't learned by the Hebrews until Moses hears the name spoken by God on Mount Sinai. This god requires animal sacrifices and regular expiation. He intrudes on human life with astonishing suddenness, and often demands absurd acts from humans. The proper human relationship to this god is obedience, and the early history of humanity is a history of humans oscillating between obedience to this god and autonomy. This god is anthropomorphic: he has human qualities. He is frequently angered and seems to have some sort of human body. In addition, the god worshipped by Abraham and his descendants is the creator god, that is, the god solely responsible for the creation of the universe. The god of Genesis is bisexual: he/she is often referred to in female as well as male terms. For instance, this god is represented frequently as "mothering" or "giving birth through labor pains" to the world and humans (these passages are universally mistranslated in English as "fathering"this god is only referred to as a "father" twice in Genesis ). In Genesis , Elohim or El Shaddai functions as a primitive law-giver after the Flood, this god gives to Noah those primitive laws which apply to all human beings, the so-called Noahide Laws. Nothing of the sophistication and comprehensive of the Mosaic laws is evident in the early history of the human relationship to Yahweh as outlined in Genesis .
Scholars have wracked their brains trying to figure out what conclusions might be drawn about this human history. In general, they believe that the portrait of Hebrew religion in Genesis is an inaccurate one. They conclude instead that Hebrew monolatry and monotheism began with the Yahweh cult introduced, according to Exodus, in the migration from Egypt between 1300 and 1200 BC. The text of Genesis in their view is an attempt to legitimate the occupation of Palestine by asserting a covenantal relationship between Yahweh and the Hebrews that had been established far in the distant past.
All these conclusions are brilliant but tentative, for we'll never know for sure much of anything substantial about Hebrew history and religion during the age of the patriarchs or the sojourn in Egypt. Nevertheless, scholars draw on the text of Genesis to conclude the following controversial ideas about early Hebrew religion:
Early Hebrew religion was polytheistic the curious plural form of the name of God, Elohim rather than El, leads them to believe that the original Hebrew religion involved several gods. This plural form, however, can be explained as a "royal" plural. Several other aspects of the account of Hebrew religion in Genesis also imply a polytheistic faith.
The earliest Hebrew religion was animistic, that is, the Hebrews seemed worship forces of nature that dwelled in natural objects.
As a result, much of early Hebrew religion had a number of practices that fall into the category of magic: scapegoat sacrifice and various forms of imitative magic, all of which are preserved in the text of Genesis .
Early Hebrew religion eventually became anthropomorphic, that is, god or the gods took human forms in later Hebrew religion, Yahweh becomes a figure that transcends the human and material worlds. Individual tribes probably worshipped different gods there is no evidence in Genesis that anything like a national God existed in the time of the patriarchs.
The most profound revolution in Hebrew thought, though, occurred in the migration from Egypt, and its great innovator was Moses. In the epic events surrounding the flight from Egypt and the settling of the promised land, Hebrew religion became permanently and irrevocably, the Mosaic religion.
National Monolatry and Monotheism (1300 - 1000 BCE)
According to Hebrew history narrated in Exodus , the second book of the Torah, the Hebrews became a nation and adopted a national god on the slopes of Mount Sinai in southern Arabia. While we know nothing whatsoever of Hebrew life in Egypt, the flight from Egypt is described in Hebrew history with immense and powerful detail. The migration itself creates a new entity in history: the Israelites Exodus is the first place in the Torah which refers to the Hebrews as a single national group, the "bene yisrael," or "children of Israel."
The flight from Egypt itself stands as the single greatest sign from Yahweh that the Israelites were the chosen people of Yahweh it is the event to be always remembered as demonstrating Yahweh's purpose for the Hebrew people. It is the point in history that the scattered tribes descended from Abraham become a single unit, a single nation. It is also the crucial point in history that the Hebrews adopt Yahweh as their national god.
Hebrew history is absolutely silent about Hebrew worship during the sojourn in Egypt. A single religious observance, the observation of Passover, originates in Egypt immediately before the migration. This observance commemorates how Yahweh spared the Hebrews when he destroyed all the first born sons in the land of Egypt. The Yahweh religion itself, however, is learned when the mass of Hebrews collect at Mount Sinai in Midian, which is located in the southern regions of the Arabian peninsula. During this period, called the Sinai pericope, Moses teaches the Hebrews the name of their god and brings to them the laws that the Hebrews, as the chosen people, must observe. The Sinai pericope is a time of legislation and of cultural formation in the Hebrew view of history. In the main, the Hebrews learn all the cultic practices and observances that they are to perform for Yahweh.
Scholars are in bitter disagreement over the origin of the the Yahweh religion and the identity of its founder, Moses. While Moses is an Egyptian name, the religion itself comes from Midian. In the account, Moses lives for a time with a Midianite priest, Jethro, at the foot of Mount Sinai. The Midianites seem to have a Yahweh religion already in place they worship the god of Mount Sinai as a kind of powerful nature deity. So it's possible that the Hebrews picked up the Yahweh religion from another group of Semites and that this Yahweh religion slowly developed into the central religion of the Hebrews. All scholars are agreed, however, that the process was slow and painful. In the Hebrew history, all during the migration and for two centuries afterwards, the Hebrews follow many various religions unevenly.
The Mosaic religion was initially a monolatrous religion while the Hebrews are enjoined to worship no deity but Yahweh, there is no evidence that the earliest Mosaic religion denied the existence of other gods. In fact, the account of the migration contains numerous references by the historical characters to other gods, and the first law of the Decalogue is, after all, that no gods be put before Yahweh, not that no other gods exist. While controversial among many people, most scholars have concluded that the initial Mosaic religion for about two hundred years was a monolatrous religion. For there is ample evidence in the Hebrew account of the settlement of Palestine, that the Hebrews frequently changed religions, often several times in a single lifetime.
The name of god introduced in the Mosaic religion is a mysterious term. In Hebrew, the word is YHWH (there are no vowels in biblical Hebrew) we have no clue how this word is pronounced. Linguists believe that the word is related to the Semitic root of the verb, "to be," and may mean something like, "he causes to be." In English, the word is translated "I AM": "I AM THAT I AM. You will say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent you."
For a few centuries, Yahweh was largely an anthropomorphic god, that is, he had human qualities and physical characteristics. The Yahweh of the Torah is frequently angry and often capricious the entire series of plagues on Egypt, for instance, seem unreasonably cruel. In an account from the monarchical period, Yahweh strikes someone dead for touching the Ark of the Covenant that individual, Uzza, was only touching the ark to keep it from falling over (I Chronicles 13.10).
But there are some striking innovations in this new god. First, this god, anthropomorphic or not, is conceived as operating above and outside nature and the human world. The Mosaic god is conceived as the ruler of the Hebrews, so the Mosaic laws also have the status of a ruler. The laws themselves in the Torah were probably written much later, in the eighth or seventh centuries. It is not unreasonable, however, to conclude that the early Mosaic religion was a law-based religion that imagined Yahweh as the author and enforcer of these laws. In fact, the early Hebrews seemed to have conceived of Yahweh as a kind of monarch. In addition, Yahweh is more abstract than any previous gods one injunction to the Hebrews is that no images of Yahweh be made or worshipped. Finally, there was no afterlife in the Mosaic religion. All human and religious concerns were oriented around this world and Yahweh's purposes in this world.
As the Hebrews struggled with this new religion, lapsing frequently into other religions, they were slowly sliding towards their first major religious and ethical crisis: the monarchy. The Yahweh religion would be shaken to its roots by this crisis and would be irrevocably changed.
The Prophetic Revolution (800 - 600 BCE)
Wearied from over two centuries of sporadic conflict with indigenous peoples, broken by a ruinous civil war, and constantly threatened on all sides, the disparate Hebrew settlers of Palestine began to long for a unified state under a single monarch. Such a state would provide the organization and the military to fend off the war-like peoples surrounding them. Their desire, however, would provoke the first major crisis in the Hebrew world view: the formation of the Hebrew monarchy.
In the Hebrew account of their own history, the children of Israel who settled Palestine between 1250 and 1050 BC, believed Yahweh to be their king and Yahweh's laws to be their laws (whether or not this is historically true is controversial). In desiring to have a king, the tribes of Israel were committing a grave act of disobedience towards Yahweh, for they were choosing a human being and human laws of Yahweh and Yahweh's laws. In the account of the formation of the monarchy, in the books of Samuel , the prophet of Yahweh, Samuel, tells the Israelites that they are committing an act of disobedience that they will dearly pay for. Heedless of Samuel's warnings, they push ahead with the monarchy. The very first monarch, Saul, sets the pattern for the rest disobedient towards Yahweh's commands, Saul falls out with both Samuel and Yahweh and gradually slips into arbitrary despotism. This patternthe conflict between Yahweh and the kings of Israel and Judahbecomes the historical pattern in the Hebrew stories of the prophetic revolution.
Whatever the causes, a group of religious leaders during the eighth and seventh centuries BC responded to the crisis created by the institution of the monarchy by reinventing and reorienting the Yahweh religion. In Hebrew, these religious reformers were called "nivea," or "prophets." The most important of these prophets were Amos, Hosea, Isaiah (who is actually three people: Isaiah and "Second Isaiah" [Deutero-Isaiah], and a third, post-exilic Isaiah), and Micah. These four, and a number of lesser prophets, are as important to the Hebrew religion as Moses.
The innovations of the prophets can be grouped into three large categories:Monotheism
Whatever the character of Mosaic religion during the occupation and the early monarchy, the prophets unambiguously made Yahweh the one and only one god of the universe. Earlier, Hebrews acknowledged and even worshipped foreign gods the prophets, however, asserted that Yahweh ruled the entire universe and all the peoples in it, whether or not they recognized and worshipped Yahweh or not. The Yahweh religion as a monotheistic religion can really be dated no earlier than the prophetic revolution.Righteousness
While Yahweh is subject to anger, capriciousness, and outright injustice in the earlier Mosaic religion, the Yahweh of the prophets can do nothing but good and right and justice. Yahweh becomes in the prophetic revolution a "god of righteousness" historical events, no matter how arbitrary or unjust they may seem, represent the justice of Yahweh. The good and the just are always rewarded, and the evil are always punished. If there is any evil in the world it is through the actions of men and women, not through the actions of Yahweh, that it is committed.Ethics
While the Mosaic religion was overwhelmingly concerned with the cultic rules to be followed by the Israelites, the prophets re-centered the religion around ethics. Ritual practices, in fact, become unimportant next to ethical demands that Yahweh imposes on humans: the necessity of doing right, showing mercy, punishing evil, and doing justice.
There still, however, is no afterlife of rewards and punishments in the prophets, but a kind of House of Dust, called Sheol, to which all souls go after their death to abide for a time before disappearing from existence forever. There is no salvation, only the injunctions to do justice and right in order to produce a just and harmonious society.
The historical origins of these innovations are important to understand. The monarchy brought with it all the evils of a centralized state: arbitrary power, vast inequality of wealth, poverty in the midst of plenty, heavy taxation, slavery, bribery, and fear. The prophets were specifically addressing these corrupt and fearsome aspects of the Jewish state. They believed, however, that they were addressing these problems by returning to the Mosaic religion in reality, they created a brand new religion, a monotheistic religion not about cultic practices, but about right and wrong.
Post-Exilic Religion (800-600 BCE)
The most profound spiritual and cognitive crisis in Hebrew history was the Exile. Defeated by the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC, the Judaean population was in part deported to Babylon, mainly the upper classes and craftsmen. In 586, incensed by Judaeans shifting their loyalty, Nebuchadnezzar returned, lay siege to Jerusalem, and burned it down along with the Temple. Nothing in the Hebrew world view had prepared them for a tragedy of this magnitude. The Hebrews had been promised the land of Palestine by their god in addition, the covenant between Yahweh and Abraham promised Yahweh's protection. The destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the deportation of the Judaeans, shook the Hebrew faith to its roots.
The literature of the Exile and shortly after betrays the despair and confusion of the population uprooted from its homeland. In Lamentations and various Psalms, we get a profound picture of the sufferings of those left in Judaea, who coped with starvation and massive privation, and the community of Hebrews wandering Babylon. In Job, a story written a century or so after the Exile, the central character suffers endless calamities when he finally despairs of Yahweh's justice, his only answer is that Yahweh is not to be questioned.
But Hebrew religion shifted profoundly in the years of Exile. A small group of religious reformers believed that the calamaties suffered by the Jews were due to the corruption of their religion and ethics. These religious reformers reoriented Jewish religion around the Mosaic books in other words, they believed that the Jews should return to their foundational religion. While the Mosaic books had been in existence since the seventh or eighth centuries BC, they began to take final shape under the guidance of these reformers shortly after the Exile. Above everything else, the Torah, the five Mosaic books, represented all the law that Hebrews should follow. These laws, mainly centered around cultic practices, should remain pure and unsullied if the Jews wished to return to their homeland and keep it.
So the central character of post-Exilic Jewish religion is reform, an attempt to return religious and social practice back to its original character. This reform was accelerated by the return to Judaea itself when Cyrus the Persian conquered the Chaldeans in 539, he set about re-establishing religions in their native lands. This included the Hebrew religion. Cyrus ordered Jerusalem and the Temple to be rebuilt, and in 538 BC, he sent the Judaeans home to Jerusalem for the express purpose of worshipping Yahweh . The reformers, then, occupied a central place in Jewish thought and life all during the Persian years (539-332 BC).
Beneath the surface, though, foreign elements creeped in to the Hebrew religion. While the reformers were busy trying to purify the Hebrew religion, the Persian religion, Zoroastrianism, creeped into it among the common run of people. Why this happened is anyone's guess, but Zoroastrianism offered a world view that both explained and mollified tragedies such as the Exile. It seems that the Hebrews adopted some of this world view in the face of the profound disasters they had weathered.
Zoroastrianism, which had been founded in the seventh century BC by a Persian prophet name Zarathustra (Zoroaster is his Greek name), was a dualistic, eschatological, and apocalyptic religion. The universe is divided into two distinct and independent spheres. One, which is light and good, is ruled by a deity who is the principle of light and good the other, dark and evil, is ruled by a deity who is the principle of dark and evil. The whole of human and cosmic history is an epic struggle between these two independent deities at the end of time, a final battle between these two deities and all those ranged on one side or the other, would permanently decide the outcome of this struggle. The good deity, Ahura-Mazda, would win this final, apocalyptic battle, and all the gods and humans on the side of good would enjoy eternal bliss.
Absolutely none of these elements were present in Hebrew religion before the Exile. The world is governed solely by Yahweh evil in the world is solely the product of human actionsthere is no "principle of evil" among the Hebrews before the Exile. The afterlife is simply a House of Dust called Sheol in which the soul lasts for only a brief time. There is no talk or conception of an end of time or history, or of a world beyond this one. After the Exile, however, popular religion among the Judaeans and the Jews of the Diaspora include several innovations:Dualism
After the Exile, the Hebrews invent a concept of a more or less dualistic universe, in which all good and right comes from Yahweh, while all evil arises from a powerful principle of evil. Such a dualistic view of the universe helps to explain tragedies such as the Exile.Eschatology and Apocalypticism
Popular Jewish religion begins to form an elaborate theology of the end of time, in which a deliverer would defeat once and for all the forces of evil and unrighteousness.
Concurrent with the new eschatology, there is much talk of a deliverer who is called "messiah," or "anointed one." In Hebrew culture, only the head priest and the king were anointed, so this "messiah" often combined the functions of both religious and military leader.Otherworldliness
Popular Judaism adopts an elaborate after-life. Since justice does not seem to occur in this world, it is only logical that it will occur in another world. The afterlife becomes the place where good is rewarded and evil eternally punished.
While the reformers resist these innovations, they take hold among a large part of the Hebrew population. And it is from this root the religion of the common person that a radical form of Yahwism will grow: the religion of Jesus of Nazareth.
Sources: The Hebrews: A Learning Module from Washington State University, ©Richard Hooker, reprinted by permission.
A New Office
After years of serving clients from a small, single room space on Commercial Drive, MOSAIC moves to 1720 Grant Street, which has remained as the main headquarters of the organization since then. After 30 years, MOSAIC will be re-locating to spacious new premises at Boundary and Vanness in the Collingwood community in 2017. MOSAIC’s Translations Department becomes a social enterprise. The rationale for this move is to provide a higher-level of professional service and to compensate translators fairly for their work. Today, Interpretation and Translation Services is a leading provider of interpretation and translation services in British Columbia, and works with..Read More
The World Wide Web
Cerf’s protocol transformed the internet into a worldwide network. Throughout the 1980s, researchers and scientists used it to send files and data from one computer to another. However, in 1991 the internet changed again. That year, a computer programmer in Switzerland named Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web: an internet that was not simply a way to send files from one place to another but was itself a “web” of information that anyone on the Internet could retrieve. Berners-Lee created the Internet that we know today.
Since then, the internet has changed in many ways. In 1992, a group of students and researchers at the University of Illinois developed a sophisticated browser that they called Mosaic. (It later became Netscape.) Mosaic offered a user-friendly way to search the Web: It allowed users to see words and pictures on the same page for the first time and to navigate using scrollbars and clickable links.
That same year, Congress decided that the Web could be used for commercial purposes. As a result, companies of all kinds hurried to set up websites of their own, and e-commerce entrepreneurs began to use the internet to sell goods directly to customers. More recently, social networking sites like Facebook have become a popular way for people of all ages to stay connected.
SIUE 50th Anniversary Historical Timeline
Dr. Stephen Kerber
University Archivist & Special Collections Librarian
1955: May 5
- At a meeting in the First National Bank building, the board members of the Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce established a College Planning Committee under the chairmanship of George L. Moorman, Sr. The committee formulated plans to invite representatives of the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University to meet with them in order to discuss ways and means of establishing a public institution of higher learning in Southwestern Illinois.
1955: September 1
1955: October 19
- Dr. Harold W. See duly met with the members of the College Planning Committee as the representative of Southern Illinois University, while the other institution failed to send a representative. In the weeks and months that followed, See assumed the unofficial role of mentor to the committee and intermediary between the community leaders and the university.
1956: September 25
- The College Planning Committee invited 150 local dignitaries with an interest in the establishment of a local public institution of higher learning to a meeting at the Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville. The Sunset Hills meeting resulted in the formation of a much larger and more inclusive regional advocacy group known as the Southwestern Illinois Council for Higher Education (SWICHE).
1956: October 23
- At a meeting in Carbondale involving the SWICHE executive committee and the SIU Board of Trustees, Dr. Robert Lynn of Alton pled for swift action to provide convenient access to higher education for residents of Southwestern Illinois. The board voted unanimously to "express its profound interest in the serious situation in regard to higher educational facilities in the southwestern area of Illinois" and to "make accelerated provision for higher education facilities in the said area as quickly as necessary state and other funds become available."
1956: November 11
- The trustees voted unanimously to establish additional residence centers in one or more communities beside Belleville.
1957: June 25
- Dr. Harold W. See received appointment effective July 1, 1957 as Executive Dean of a newly-created Southwestern Illinois Residence Office for Madison and St. Clair counties.
1957: July 1
- Classes began at the Alton Residence Center on the former campus of Shurtleff College in Alton.
1957: September 16
- Geri Kay Howell of East St. Louis became the first student to register for fall quarter classes at the new residence centers.
1957: September 24
- Day classes began at the Alton and East St. Louis residence centers. Under a temporary arrangement, students attended classes in the Morrison School, on 59th Street north of State Street, in East St. Louis. A brief opening ceremony took place on the playground of the Morrison School.
1958: April 29
- The Southwestern Illinois Council for Higher Education (SWICHE) appointed a committee to raise funds from private sources in order to purchase land for a new campus in Southwestern Illinois.
1958: June 15
- The first students to complete their college studies at the residence centers received their degrees during commencement.
1958: June 24
- Dr. William Going, professor of English, received appointment effective July 1, 1958 as dean of instruction.
1959: January 19
- Mr. and Mrs. Clarence O'Brien of Lewis Road sold the first piece of property that would become part of the university campus.
1959: April 1
- Executive Dean Harold W. See received appointment to the position of Chief Executive Assistant for the Southwestern Illinois Campus with the title of Vice President for Southwestern Illinois Campus.
1959: April 16
- William H. and Florence Rohrkaste sold two parcels of land, including 153.15 acres, for inclusion in the campus.
1959: May 27
- Representatives of the Southwestern Illinois Council for Higher Education (SWICHE) and area legislators met with Governor William Stratton and informed him that 60,000 citizens of Southwestern Illinois had contributed more than $592,000 to purchase property for the campus.
1959: October 30
- The Illinois Terminal Railroad Company sold the title to the interurban railroad right of way across the emerging campus.
1959: December 18
Vice President Harold W. See relocated his administrative offices from the Broadview Hotel in East St. Louis to the former home of Mrs. Edwin Gerling on Fangenroth Road in the south central area of the new campus site. Those administrative employees moving with See included his associates, Dr. H. Bruce Brubaker and Dr. Raymond J. Spahn, Dr. William Going (dean), Mr. Emery Casstevens (industrial and technical programs) and the central secretarial and clerical staff. Some library and registrar employees had moved into other "tract houses" earlier.
1960: March 4
- Six "divisions" of academic programs--humanities, science, social sciences, fine arts, education, and business--came into existence, each managed by a "head of division." Previously, a "director" at each residence center had reported to Dean of Instruction William Going. No departments, schools, colleges, or other instructional units had previously been established.
1960: May 7
- The following received appointment, effective July 1, 1960, as acting division heads: Dr. Kermit G. Clemans (science) Dr. John J. Glynn (business), Dr. Nicholas T. Joost (humanities) Dr. Cameron W. Meredith (education) and Dr. Herbert H. Rosenthal (social sciences).
1960: May 14
- Eighty students took part in a leadership training program at the Sunset Hills Country Club and participated in the first organized student tour of the new campus site.
1960: May 16
- The executive committee of the Southwestern Illinois Council for Higher Education (SWICHE) met in Alton and voted active involvement in and support of the November 1960 bond issue to provide permanent improvements for higher education in Illinois.
1960: May 24
- Dr. Howard V. Davis, director of student affairs, acting at the suggestion of the joint student council, announced the appointment of student staff members for a new unified campus newspaper and a student yearbook. During the previous two years, students at the Alton Residence Center had produced their own paper called the ARC.
1960: June 14
- Governor William Stratton addressed the first graduation ceremony held on the campus, at a site just off U.S. Bypass 66, and strongly endorsed passage in November of the state universities bond issue. Prior to the ceremony, the governor received a guided tour of the campus, followed by an outdoor buffet supper on the lawn of the administrative offices on Fangenroth Road.
1960: June 15
- The following firms engaged to create a campus master plan for the property being acquired: Helmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum of St. Louis (architectural planning) Hare and Hare of Kansas City (city planning and landscape architecture) and Warren and Van Praag of Decatur, Illinois (professional engineering).
1960: September 25
- State Senator Lloyd Harris (D) of Granite City assured labor leaders at a meeting that his amendment to the state universities bond issue bill would allocate twenty-five million dollars for building the new campus.
1960: October 3
- More than 1,500 persons attended a bond issue rally held on the new campus. During the festivities, an exasperated neighboring landowner allegedly shot at a helicopter carrying out aerial tours of the area because the noise had disturbed his livestock.
1960: November 2-5
- Forty-five student volunteers from the residence centers participated with students from other schools in a marathon run across the state in order to draw public attention to the state universities bond issue on the general election ballot. On Saturday morning, November 5, sophomore Richard Ryan of East St. Louis represented his fellows on the final stretch of the run into Chicago.
1960: November 8
- Voters in Madison, St. Clair, and Cook counties provided the margin of victory for the state universities bond issue that subsequently financed the construction of the original SIUE campus infrastructure and buildings as well as the Chicago Circle campus of the University of Illinois.
1960: November 29
- Vice President Harold W. See received abrupt, unsought reassignment as research professor of higher education. The stunning removal of See led to protests by students, faculty members, and local citizens.
1961: January 16
- Purchase of a 132-acre horse farm from Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Freund provided the keystone piece of property for the new campus.
1961: February 18
- The Ford Foundation made a grant of $50,000 in support of the innovative campus planning process.
1961: March 15
- Warren Stookey became the first representative for alumni services and the university foundation.
1961: March 28
1961: March 29
- Illinois Governor Otto Kerner announced the appointment of Arnold Maremont, Chicago industrialist and patron of the arts, to the board of trustees.
1961: April 17
- An announcement described an extraordinary public seminar featuring noted experts in the realm of planning--Environmental Planning Edwardsville Campus or EPEC--to be staged in East St. Louis at the suggestion of trustee Arnold Maremont.
1961: June 2
- The EPEC seminar took place in an inflatable bubble structure on a parking lot in East St. Louis. EPEC featured seven in-person speakers (Gyo Obata, Edmund Bacon, Howard Becker, Earl Bolton, Sybil Moholy-Nagy, Hideo Sasaki, and Paolo Solieri), plus six filmed presentations (Josef Albers, Reyner Banham, John Burchard, Andrew Ritchie, and Eric Larrabee), and a continuous multiple slide projector exhibit entitled "MANSCAPE."
1961: June 12
- Students received copies of the initial campus yearbook, entitled the Muse, edited by Carole McDonald of Granite City.
1961: June 15
- Two academic divisions underwent name changes: science to science and technology and social studies to social sciences.
1961: August 11
- Dr. Clarence Stephens received assignment as vice president for operations, succeeding former Vice President Harold W. See in the administrative leadership role.
1961: November 9
- Following a presentation by Gyo Obata and University Architect Charles Pulley, the board of trustees approved a revised campus master plan.
1962: May 1
- A soil drilling crew began to make a series of forty test borings in order to gather information about the character of the soil on campus.
1962: May 16
- Trustee Arnold Maremont admonished the Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce by warning that a mistake may have been made in locating the campus near Edwardsville if the local people did not want it enough to adopt zoning.
1962: May 26
1962: June 9
- Purchasers acquired the former Freund home, two barns, and six outbuildings at a public auction on campus.
1962: September 14
- Trustee Arnold Maremont persuaded his colleagues on the board to refuse to proceed with entering into contracts for the construction of campus buildings until Madison County had established a zoning ordinance.
1963: February 20
- The Madison County Board of Supervisors finally enacted the first county zoning ordinance. Immediately, the administration authorized invitations for bids on the first two campus structures, the library and the general classroom and office building.
1963: May 2
- The official groundbreaking ceremony took place near the site of what had been the Freund home and what would become the center of campus.
1963: June 14
- The commencement ceremony took place for the first time at a natural amphitheater site on the northern side of campus just west of Lewis Road and south of the intersection with Poag Road. Subsequently, in 1969, the amphitheater became the site of the Mississippi River Festival. Robert Weaver, administrator of the Federal Housing and Finance Agency, served as commencement speaker and became the first recipient of an honorary degree.
1963: June 28
- Ignoring several requests that the anticipated library building be named in honor of former Vice President Harold W. See, the trustees instead designated the structure as the Lovejoy Memorial Library after Alton newspaper editor Elijah P. Lovejoy.
1963: September 17
- The property acquired for the campus included a huge elm tree that stood 77 feet high, measured more than 6 feet in diameter, and had a spread of 125 feet. Sadly, the monumental tree, a landmark in the region, fell victim to Dutch elm disease and had to be removed on this date.
1963: October 3
- The trustees approved the purchase of the Wagner Electric Corporation property in the city of Edwardsville.
1964: March 29
1964: May 28
- The trustees designated the general classroom building then under construction as the John Mason Peck Building to honor that educational pioneer and author.
1965: September 23
- Classes began on the new Edwardsville campus. Only the Peck Building and Lovejoy Library had been put into operation.
1965: December 11
1966: May 13
1966: September 21
1966: December 5
1967: January 3
1967: March 3
1967: May 26
- Workers constructed the campus water tower during the winter of 1964-65. On May 26, 1967, the trustees named the nearby utilities reservoir or lake that had been created to provide water for the heating and cooling plant after the new water tower--Tower Lake.
1967: June 9
- Raymond Franks Jr. of St. Louis and Michael Blackburn of Caseyville became the first Air Force ROTC cadets to receive their commissions.
1967: October 7
- At the conclusion of a three-day Labor Institute, participants placed a memorial plaque beneath the national flagpole in honor of the five workers who had died during construction of the campus.
1967: October 10
- To conclude the festivities of the dedicatory year, a ceremony marked the burying of a time capsule on the campus mall.
1967: October 11
- The Cougar soccer team won the institution's first official intercollegiate victory at Blackburn College.
1967: October 25
- In their first home game, on a field north of the Peck Building, the soccer Cougars lost to a team from Harris Teachers College.
1967: December 6
- Under the direction of coach Harry Gallatin, the founding basketball team practiced in the Alton gym and played its home games at Edwardsville High School. After losing their first two contests on November 22 and 24, the cagers won their opening home game against Sanford Brown of St. Louis on December 6.
1968: February 19
- Junior Walter Parrill and Alumni Association director Warren Stookey flew to Houston, Texas, to pick up a young female cougar called Danielle. Renamed Chimega at the suggestion of student Mary Ann Kucinick, the newcomer became a beloved living mascot. A student volunteer organization named the Cougar Guard began caring for the mascot in January 1969 and Chimega moved into her permanent home south of the University Center, a cage topped with a geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller, in June 1970.
1968: April 3
1968: April 5
- Members of the university community gathered in the Communications Building theater to pay tribute to the memory of the martyred Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1968: April 10
- In their first home game, on a diamond northwest of the Science Building, the Cougar baseball team defeated Harris Teachers College to achieve its first victory.
1968: July 1
1968: September 24
1968: September 27
- Student Christine Pashoff cut the ribbon that marked the opening of the newly-completed second floor of the University Center. New facilities included the University Club restaurant, offices for nursing and business faculty members, and the Meridian Ballroom.
1968: October 5
- The men's cross country team won its very first intercollegiate meet against Millikin University.
1969: January 29
- The Federal Communications Commission granted approval for the construction of a noncommercial university FM radio station (88.7 megahertz).
1969: March 17
- A news conference heralded the initial plans for a summer outdoor music festival on campus featuring classical music performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as well as contemporary folk, pop, and rock music.
1969: April 8
- University News Service employees moved into the brand-new General Office Building, across the Hairpin Drive from the Peck Building, joining fellow workers from the registrar's office who had previously occupied their new space in February.
1969: April 18
1969: April 21
- The Federal Communication Commission approved the call letters WSIE for the anticipated campus radio station.
1969: June 20
- Following a gala "Pique-nique" social event on the central mall, the Mississippi River Festival began with a concert by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Walter Susskind.
1969: June 23
1970: March 28
- The new track team (coached by Jack Whitted) inaugurated competition with a loss to Washington University.
1970: May 4
- Ohio National Guardsmen shot and killed four anti-Vietnam War demonstrators at Kent State University. On the following day, Chancellor John Rendleman held an open forum in the Goshen Lounge of the University Center and responded to comments and questions from outraged students.
1970: May 15
- In response to disorder and violence at that institution, the governor of Illinois closed Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
1970: May 17
- Ronald Yarbrough, earth sciences professor, received the first Great Teacher Award from the SIUE Alumni Association at Honors Day.
1970: May 18
- Chancellor Rendleman held a campus convocation or "moratorium" on violence, followed by additional convocations over the following three days. Rendleman's public opposition to the war in Vietnam and his willingness to engage in dialogue helped to prevent violence at the university during these troubled times.
1970: September 4
1970: November 15
1971: September 1
1971: October 18-24
- Dedication ceremonies for the privately-financed Religious Center took place, highlighted by a speech by Buckminster Fuller on October 22.
1972: April 26
- President John Rendleman threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the dedication of the Cougar Field baseball diamond.
1972: August 31
- Governor Richard Ogilvie released $14,266,300 previously-appropriated funds for construction of two new classroom-office buildings.
1972: September 5
1972: October 3
1972: October 4
- Intercollegiate sport competition for women began. In a home game, Barbara Maue scored twice as the field hockey team defeated Greenville College by a score of two to one. Rosemarie Archangel, women's athletic director, also served as the field hockey coach.
1972: October 16
- Antiwar activist and actress Jane Fonda spoke in the Meridian Ballroom of the University Center.
1973: March 29
- Groundbreaking ceremonies took place for two new classroom-office buildings to be located north of the Peck Building.
1973: June 9
- Shirley Stimac of Wood River became the first woman to earn a degree in engineering from the university when she graduated with a bachelor's degree in urban and environmental engineering.
1973: July 25
- A misguided sociology class "experiment" went badly awry when a female student calling herself "Jane Loemke" set up signs in a classroom building advertising for a husband to share a mythical $100,000 inheritance from a rich uncle. An Alestle story created extensive publicity and unanticipated consequences for the student and instructor.
1973: September 4
- President John Rendleman nominated Dr. Vaughnie Jean Lindsay of the business faculty to become dean of the graduate school, succeeding Howard Dye.
1973: September 6
- In order to permit second-year students to acquire practical training, the School of Dental Medicine opened a new dental clinic on the Alton campus.
1973: November 2
- A canvass of votes indicated that Don Hastings, a sophomore from Edwardsville, had been elected as the first non-voting student representative on the board of trustees.
1974: February 21
- Two legendary television stars of the 1950s, Buffalo Bob and his puppet, Howdy Doody, appeared in the Meridian Ballroom during Winterfest 1974.
1974: March 8
- A group of streakers attracted a small crowd to the central mall. Nationally, according to historical researchers, the craze of collegiate streaking peaked between March 1 and March 9, 1974.
1974: May 3
- Chimega, the university's live Cougar mascot, gave birth to two cubs. Sadly, one cub was stillborn and the other died within hours of birth.
1974: October 15
1975: May 23
- President John Rendleman announced that the School of Dental Medicine had received full accreditation by the American Dental Association.
1975: July 10
- Effective with the start of winter quarter 1976, the trustees raised textbook rental fees for students taking eleven to seventeen quarter hours from $8.00 to $10.00 and for students taking over seventeen quarter hours to $12.00.
1975: July 21
1975: August 9
- The first class to complete the School of Dental Medicine program graduated at a ceremony in the Communications Building theater. The school later adopted a four-year curriculum in the fall of 1978.
1975: October 17
1975: November 25
- Groundbreaking took place for construction by trainees of a connector road between Circle Drive and Bluff Road known as the Whiteside Southwest Connector Training Roadway. The new road replaced a farm lane across property homesteaded by William Whiteside early in the nineteenth century.
1976: March 4
1976: March 11
- Following the untimely death of John Rendleman, Andrew Kochman became acting president effective this date.
1976: March 17
- In tribute to the late president's memory, a ceremony marked the naming of the General Office Building in honor of John Rendleman.
1976: May 6
1976: May 13
- Acting President Andrew Kochman presided over the dedication event for Building II (today's Founders Hall) and Building III (Alumni Hall).
1976: June 11
- Dr. John Abbott, director, announced that the Friends of Lovejoy Library support organization had donated $14,750 to pay for installation of a "tattletape" electronic security system designed to prevent theft of Lovejoy Library books.
1976: July 23
- The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools announced that it had granted the university accreditation at the doctoral level.
1976: October 14
- Senior Vice President for Planning and Review Ralph Ruffner assumed the role of acting president effective this date.
1977: January 17
1977: March 10
- The trustees decided to raise tuition for the first time in six years. From the standard figure of $143 per quarter for full-time Illinois residents, tuition increased $30 per quarter for undergrads, $40 for graduate students, and $180 for dental students.
1977: July 31
- During a huge Sunday evening birthday party held in his honor at the Meridian Ballroom of the University Center, state Senator Sam Vadalabene received and shared the contents of a welcome communication from Governor James Thompson. The governor announced his intention to sign senate bill 314 that would fund the long-awaited initial planning for the university's first permanent physical education building.
1977: September 20
- President Buzz Shaw initiated an institutional tradition by delivering his first comprehensive state-of-the-university address in the Communications Building theater.
1977: September 26
- An announcement revealed that monetary fines for parking violations would be increased. For expired meter time or parking on a roadway, fines would increase from $1 to $2. For parking in a no parking zone, fines would increase from $1 to $5.
1978: May 25
- Installation ceremonies marked the establishment of a chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
1978: June 23
- President Buzz Shaw announced the selection of twenty high school seniors with high academic potential as the first group of Presidential Scholars.
1979: February 8
- The trustees reversed the trend toward autonomy that had prevailed since 1970 by establishing a new system governance structure featuring a "chancellor" to whom the presidents of the two universities would report.
1979: April 12
- In order to comply with the direction of the Illinois Board of Higher Education so as to eliminate duplication of effort with the State Community College in East St. Louis, the trustees approved the phasing out of the Experiment in Higher Education program in East St. Louis by June 1982.
1979: June 14
- The trustees approved a recommended location east and slightly north of the Bubble Gym as the site for the anticipated physical education building.
1979: September 15
- Earl Lazerson became acting president of the university effective this date, succeeding Buzz Shaw who became chancellor of the system.
1979: September 15
- During their inaugural competition, the women's cross-country team placed three of its four runners in the top fifteen at the Washington University Invitational.
1979: October 6
- Acting President Earl Lazerson initiated the annual Preview SIUE open house event for high school students and their families.
1980: February 20
- In a departure from the traditional Winterfest celebration, workers filled the University Center's atrium lounge with ten tons of sand to create a "Goshen Ocean" for volleyball and sandcastle construction.
1980: May 15
- Six brand-new tennis courts, constructed in a small amphitheater west of the anticipated physical education building, opened as the scene of the NCAA's Division II national championship tournament.
1980: June 6
1980: June 26
- A ceremony marked the final completion of and the opening of the Whiteside Roadway connecting Circle Drive and Bluff Road.
1980: July 10
1980: July 31
- Governor James Thompson attended a birthday gathering for state Senator Sam Vadalabene and promised to sign senate bill 1665 appropriating the funds for construction of the physical education building.
1980: August 29
1981: January 14
- The new meeting rooms forming a conference center facility on the second floor of the University Center opened with a series of dedication activities. Six rooms subsequently received the names of trees found in the region: Hackberry, Red Bud, Maple, Dogwood, Oak, and Hickory.
1981: May 18
- Cold rain drove the dignitaries gathered to perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the physical education building inside the nearby Bubble Gym.
1981: May 22
- Officials announced that there would be no Mississippi River Festival season during the summer of 1981.
1981: July 20
1982: January 5
- The Illinois Board of Higher Education concurred with a report from its dental education committee and approved continuance of the School of Dental Medicine.
1982: June 8
- The dedication of a giant mosaic called the Rainbow Connection, affixed to the wall of Building III, took place during the annual Very Special Arts Festival.
1982: September 30
- President Emeritus Clark Kerr of the University of California delivered the convocation address as the university initiated the celebration of its twenty-fifth anniversary.
1983: June 2
- Officials announced that a new program of academic courses to be held only on Saturdays and Sundays and called Weekend University would begin with the start of fall quarter 1983.
1983: June 10
- In a major change of location, the commencement ceremony took place not at the MRF amphitheater site used since 1963 but on the lawn space bounded by the Hairpin Drive, east of the campus mall and between the Peck and Rendleman buildings. No further commencement ceremonies took place at the amphitheater site.
1983: November 2
- Homecoming 1983 featured the return of the concept of a king and queen for the first time since 1969.
1984: February 17
- Officials announced that a new one-month-long, intensive academic term to be called September Option would debut during the fall of 1984.
1984: March 27
- President Earl Lazerson informed the university community that he had received the final report of a task force on academics and athletics established by him in response to reports of irregularities in the intercollegiate athletic program. The task force established the guiding principle that the goals of the athletic program are subservient to the goals of the general academic program.
1984: May 6-7
- As part of the twenty-fifth anniversary year, the first Founders celebration took place honoring the members of the Southwestern Illinois Council for Higher Education, the landowners, the contributors to the land purchase fund, the laborers who died in construction accidents, and the original faculty and staff.
1984: May 7
- Illinois Governor James Thompson journeyed to Edwardsville to join in paying tribute to state Senator Sam Vadalabene at the dedication ceremony for the physical education facility long-championed by Senator Sam and named in his honor.
1984: May 25
- South of the Bubble Gym, on a site previously occupied by handball courts, the newly-constructed Student Experimental Theater opened on this date. It replaced the old Quonset Hut as a venue for student-initiated productions. A ceremony just a year later, on May 22, 1985, renamed the facility for James F. Metcalf, longtime budget director.
1984: July 1
1985: March 12
1985: May 2
- The Friends of Lovejoy Library opened their Good Buy Book Store in the basement of the library.
1985: September 27
- Groundbreaking took place for an Early Childhood Center building and for an outdoor swimming pool facility at Tower Lake.
1985: October 23
1986: April 24
- A celebration marked the dedication of the newly-finished Early Childhood Center. Sandra LaVernn Wilson served as director of the ECC from June 6, 1971 through February 29, 2000.
1986: April 26
- Between games of a doubleheader on this date, a dedication event renamed Cougar Field in honor of longtime baseball coach Roy Lee, who had died on November 10, 1985.
1986: November 1
- A ceremony marked the naming of the soccer field in honor of the founding coach, Bob Guelker, who had achieved a record of 216-67-21 at SIUE. Guelker had died on February 22, 1986.
1986: December 18
- President Earl Lazerson announced the awarding of nearly one million dollars in internally-reallocated funds to 105 projects as part of his Excellence in Undergraduate Education initiative.
1987: June 5
1987: June 26
- The era of live campus mascots ended with the hasty and unceremonious removal of Chimega's successor, Kyna. Destruction of the cougar cage followed immediately.
1988: May 20
1988: July 20
1989: March 6
1989: April 7
1989: May 20
1990: March 22
- Due to extensive damage caused over the holiday break when an accident covered the Vadalabene Center gymnasium floor with water, the Illinois Capital Development Board awarded a contract to replace the floor.
1990: April 17
- Dean Donal Myer of the School of Sciences announced plans for creation of a campus arboretum. First suggested by environmental sciences professor Frank Kulfinski, the anticipated site for the arboretum would be located north of the Tower Lake recreation area parking lot. Following the subsequent death of Myer on August 6, the trustees named the arboretum in his honor.
1990: May 15
1990: July 18
- Officials revealed that the name of the University Ambassadors organization, university student volunteers who provided scripted information and tours to visitors and prospective high school students, would be changed to Students Assisting in Recruitment or STARS.
1990: September 23
- The Friends of Lovejoy Library, the pioneer support organization on campus, hosted a twenty-fifth anniversary party for the library.
1990: October 10
- Ceremonies in the University Center marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the opening of the campus.
1990: December 13
- The trustees named the anticipated arboretum in memory of Professor Donal G. Myer who had died on August 6, 1990.
1991: March 14
- The trustees approved a proposal to convert the academic calendar from the quarter system that had been in existence since 1957 to the semester system effective in fall 1993.
1991: May 8
- The Friends of Lovejoy Library support group received the prestigious Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) Award.
1991: June 13
- A restructuring of commencement activities ended the tradition of outdoor events that had prevailed on campus since 1960 and featured five separate ceremonies in two different indoor locations: the Vadalabene Center and the Meridian Ballroom of the University Center.
1991: September 15
- A new clean-air policy became effective that banned smoking in all public areas and university vehicles. Smoking continued to be permitted only in private offices when occupants used a filtering device.
1992: March 12
- A groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of construction of a new Student Fitness Center addition on the west side of the Vadalabene Center.
1992: May 13
- In the aftermath of television coverage concerning the Rodney King incident in California, President Earl Lazerson presided over a Unity Convocation gathering in the Communications Building theater.
1992: May 19
- President Earl Lazerson presented presidential awards of merit to the two pioneering academic officers who had shaped the university during its infancy: former Vice President Harold W. See, and former Dean of Instruction William Going.
1992: November 12
- The trustees approved construction of a new student residence hall near the campus core, renovation of food service facilities, and renovation of Tower Lake apartments.
1992: December 10
- A proposal to lease thirty-five acres of property including the soccer field to the city of Edwardsville to facilitate construction of a stadium for the summer 1994 Olympic Festival received trustee approval.
1993: April 1
- The official grand opening of the Student Fitness Center, a 50,000-square-foot addition to the west side of the Vadalabene Center, took place.
1993: September 9
- The trustees approved an academic reorganization plan that merged the schools of Fine Arts and Communications, Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences, plus University College, into a new College of Arts & Sciences, effective July 1, 1995.
1993: October 14
1994: January 11
1994: May 16
- A groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of construction for a Music wing addition on the south side of the Communications Building.
1994: June 24
- An evening ceremony celebrated completion of the new stadium constructed to host the U.S. Olympic Festival.
1994: July 2-6
1994: July 8-10
1994: October 13
- Initially opened for student occupation on August 19, the official dedication of the Student Residence Hall, the first of four new residence halls, took place on this date.
1995: January 2
- Sharon K. Hahs received appointment as the first dean of the newly-created School of Arts & Sciences effective this date.
1995: January 12
- Officials announced that in future commencement ceremonies would be held at the conclusion of the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
1995: September 14
- President Belck presided at the dedication of the new music wing addition to the south side of the Communications Building.
1996: July 1
- Madison County Transit inaugurated bus service on campus, from campus to Edwardsville, and from campus to Metro Link.
1996: September 11
- Chancellor Nancy Belck announced that more than 1,000 students who had illegally charged personal long-distance phone calls to the university had to date repaid over $416,000 out of a total of more than $1,000,000 in falsified calls.
1997: January 9
- A ceremony marked the naming of the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives and Special Collections unit of Lovejoy Library after the late university archivist.
1997: January 11
- Mildred Arnold, pioneer public affairs newswriter, student yearbook advisor, and wife of founding faculty member George Arnold, passed away.
1997: September 1
1997: September 24
1997: October 9
- The trustees renamed: Building II as Founders Hall, Building III as Alumni Hall, the first residence hall as Woodland Hall, the second residence hall as Prairie Hall, Tower Lake as Cougar Lake, and the Tower Lake housing complex as Cougar Village.
1997: October 30
- A dedication ceremony took place for a new ground-level greenhouse that replaced an aging greenhouse atop the Science Building.
1997: December 15
- To assist faculty members to learn about and make use of new tools in their teaching and research, Library and Information Services created a Faculty Technology Center.
1998: March 14
1998: June 11
- The trustees named the new stadium that had been constructed surrounding Bob Guelker Field in honor of alumnus Ralph Korte renamed the Communications Building as Katherine Dunham Hall renamed the circular central mall area as the William G. Stratton Quadrangle and renamed the University Center for the late Delyte Morris.
1998: July 7
1998: August 21
1998: October 15
- A ribbon-cutting event marked the opening of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant on the lower level of the renovated Morris University Center.
1999: March 3
- A ceremony in the building dramatized the renaming of the Communications Building as Katherine Dunham Hall.
1999: March 17
- A reception in the MUC Gallery opened a retrospective exhibit of Mississippi River Festival memorabilia collected by former festival director Lyle Ward.
1999: May 27
- Groundbreaking took place for a new building to house the offices of the foundation and the alumni association.
1999: June 21
- Officials announced a gift of one million dollars to the School of Business to establish the Ralph and Donna Korte Fund for Leadership and Innovation in Business Education.
1999: August 23
- The East St. Louis Center opened a pioneering charter high school in an attempt to provide opportunity to students from the community who had previously dropped out from the local school district.
1999: September 9
- A 4,100-square-foot addition to the Student Fitness Center that doubled the existing weight training space opened on this date.
1999: November 11
- The trustees approved construction of a new School of Nursing facility in Springfield and also designated the anticipated third student residence hall as Bluff Hall.
2000: March 17
- Chancellor David Werner presided at the dedication of the John C. Abbott Auditorium in Lovejoy Library. Abbott had served as the founding library director from 1960 to 1981.
2000: June 7
- Sharon Hahs received appointment as provost and vice chancellor for student affairs effective this date.
2000: August 23
2000: September 13
2000: October 4
- A dedication ceremony celebrated the opening of the new B. Barnard Birger Hall as the common home of the development and public affairs, alumni association, and university foundation units.
2001: March 16
- Officials announced that grades would no longer be mailed to students in the traditional manner since almost no one had complained when 11,000 pieces of mail had disappeared over the break between fall and spring semesters and interested students had simply accessed their grades on the internet.
2001: May 24
- The trustees approved an agreement allowing the university to purchase an existing building at 200 University Park Drive in University Park and to use 7,000 feet of unoccupied space as a new home for a relocated Textbook Rental operation.
2001: May 31
- To honor the family of Ernest E. and Mary Tosovsky, original property owners and longtime supporters, the university dedicated a patio next to B. Barnard Birger Hall as the Tosovsky Terrace.
2001: June 25
- Following a vandal's attack in April, on this date university workers attempted to lift The Rock, only to have the remaining portion break apart into pieces.
2001: August 27
- A groundbreaking ceremony initiated construction of the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center facility in University Park.
2001: November 14
2002: January 17
- The Alestle reported that, effective in September 2002, the Textbook Rental function would vacate the basement of Lovejoy Library and relocate to space in University Park.
2002: August 22
- A dedication ceremony heralded the opening of a new rock climbing gym located within a converted racquetball court at the Vadalabane Center.
2002: October 7-8
- The Rock disappeared overnight from its traditional location on the campus mall, only to be discovered on October 17 by a jogger running near the soccer practice fields.
2002: November 14
- The Alestle reported that Textbook Rental staff had initiated but not yet completed a relocation move from Lovejoy Library to University Park.
2003: January 10
2003: March 14
- Workers installed a new replacement Rock of limestone donated by the Unimin Corporation of Pevely, Missouri. The remnant of the original rose quartz Rock subsequently went on display in the Morris University Center. The formal dedication of the new Rock occurred on April 7.
2003: March 26
- A new SIUE web radio station began broadcasting from a space in the basement of the Morris University Center.
2003: September 22
2003: October 13
- Following two years of renovation, the official reopening of the Morris University Center took place.
2004: February 2
2004: July 1
2004: October 18
2004: November 9
- Sale of the original theater seats from the Dunham Hall auditorium made possible installation of the first replacement seats in the life of the facility.
2004: November 12
- The groundbreaking ceremony for a new University Park building to house the newly-authorized School of Pharmacy took place.
2005: May 12
2005: October 14
2006: March 9
2006: April 23
2006: April 28
2006: August 1
- Officials announced a testamentary gift from the late Professor Homer Cox to the School of Business in the amount of $2,400,000.
2006: September 26
2007: January 30
- SIUE and Southwestern Illinois College entered into an innovative dual admission partnership agreement.
SIUE 50th Anniversary Timeline. Copyright ©2007, Stephen Kerber, University Archivist Lovejoy Library
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is authorized to operate as a postsecondary educational institution by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is the internet’s equivalent of a phone book, and converts hard-to-remember IP addresses into simple names.
In the early 1980s, cheaper technology and the appearance of desktop computers allowed the rapid development of local area networks (LANs). An increase in the amount of computers on the network made it difficult to keep track of all the different IP addresses.
This problem was solved by the introduction of the Domain Name System (DNS) in 1983. DNS was invented by Paul Mockapetris and Jon Postel at the University of Southern California. It was one of the innovations that paved the way for the World Wide Web.
The Biblical Covenants
The biblical covenants form the unifying thread of God’s saving action through Scripture, beginning explicitly with Noah and reaching fulfillment in the new covenant ratified through the blood of Jesus Christ.
The biblical covenants form the unifying thread of God’s saving action through Scripture. While some theologians argue that there are three covenants prior (the covenant of redemption, covenant of works, and covenant of grace), the first explicit covenant in Scripture is between God and Noah after the flood. The Abrahamic covenant follows soon after in Genesis, laying the groundwork for the nation of Israel and the coming Messiah, through whom God would bless all the nations of the world. The Mosaic covenant continues God’s dealings with the nation of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, calling them to reflect the glory of their Lord to the nations around them. The covenant made with King David pointed ahead of Israel to the coming Messiah, the one who would rule perfectly on David’s throne forever. It was not until Jesus came as Israel’s Messiah, however, that the covenants with man were kept perfectly and fulfilled. Jesus came to ratify the new covenant, promised in the Law and the Prophets, bringing along with it the eschatological blessings promised to God’s people.
Covenants between God and human beings form a unifying thread in Scripture, from their conceptual introduction in Genesis to their eschatological fulfilment in Revelation. Although theologians differ over the precise number and nature of such divine covenants, few question their theological significance in relation to redemptive history.
While the term “covenant” does not appear before Genesis 6:18, Reformed/Covenant Theology maintains that three other covenants precede God’s covenant with Noah: an eternal “covenant of redemption” made between members of the Trinity before the creation of the world, a probationary “covenant of works/creation” established between God and Adam before the fall, and a post-fall covenant of grace through which God promised to rescue humanity from the consequences of sin and fulfil his creative purpose. While not all Reformed theologians agree on the precise relationship between the covenant of grace and the covenant of redemption, one or both are thought to underpin the subsequent divine-human covenants in Scripture, all of which serve the same overarching purpose and ultimate goal.
Other scholars, however, are unpersuaded and identify only those explicitly described as such in Scripture as divine covenants. While not denying that the Triune God planned human salvation before the creation of the world, or that God established a relationship with Adam involving mutual obligations, or that God’s relationships with humanity express a single creative and redemptive goal, they carefully distinguish such ideas from the concept of a covenant—one that involves additional elements such as a sworn and/or enacted oath. Understood in the latter sense, the first divine-human covenant is thus the one established in the days of Noah (cf. Isa. 54:9), affirming God’s commitment to creation after the flood.
The Covenant with Noah and All Creation
This universal covenant announced prior to the flood (Gen. 6:18) was established only after the deluge had subsided (Gen. 8:20–9:17). Its first mention simply highlights God’s plan to preserve Noah and the others in the ark (Gen. 6:18). God’s covenant with Noah reaffirms his original plans, temporarily disrupted by judgment. A suspension of the natural order will never again interrupt (8:21–22 9:11–15) the fulfillment of humanity’s creational mandate (cf. 9:1–7 1:26–30). Additional commands (9:4–6) emphasize the value of human life in particular, further underlining the primary rationale for this covenant: preserving life on earth without further divine interruption. It is at least implicit from the scope of this covenant that God’s redemptive goal will ultimately encompass the whole creation.
The Abrahamic Covenant(s)
The promises encompassed by God’s covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are recorded in Genesis 12:1–3. God would bless Abraham in two ways: (1) he would become a great nation and so have a great name, and (2) through him God would mediate blessing to all peoples on earth. Significantly, each of these promises are subsequently ratified by covenant: (1) the national dimension of God’s promise is the focus of Genesis 15, where God establishes “a covenant with Abram” (15:18) (2) the international dimension of the promise (ignored in Gen. 15) is alluded to in Genesis 17 (cf. 17:4–6,16), where God announces an “everlasting covenant” (17:7), the so-called “covenant of circumcision” (Acts 7:8). While many see the latter as simply unpacking further the covenant in Genesis 15, the different circumstances and emphases suggest that it is actually a second stage in God’s covenantal dealings with Abraham.
The covenant in Genesis 15 formally ratifies God’s promise to make Abraham into a “great nation” (Gen. 12:2) the primary focus is on how God will work out his creative goal in Abraham’s biological “offspring,” subsequently identified as the sons of Jacob (Israel). This, however, was only the preliminary stage in God’s unfolding plan of redemption. The second stage relates to how Abraham, through that great nation descended from him, would mediate blessing to “all peoples on earth” (Gen. 12:3)—the main focus of Genesis 17 and 22.
Even though the prospect of nationhood is not altogether absent (cf. 17:8), in chapter 17 stress is placed on “nations,” “kings,” and a perpetual divine-human relationship with Abraham’s “seed” (17:4–8,16–21). Significantly, particular focus is placed on Isaac (17:21 cf. 21:12) as the one through whom this covenant will be perpetuated, highlighting what was at stake in the divine test of Genesis 22. There Abraham’s obedient faith (22:16,18) met the demands of 17:1 (cf. 18:19 26:5), thus prompting God to ratify the promises of Genesis 17 (cf. 22:17–18 26:4) by a solemn oath (Gen 22:16 cf. 26:3).
Thus understood, two distinct covenants were established between God and Abraham. The first guaranteed God’s promise to make Abraham into a “great nation,” whereas the second affirmed God’s promise to bless all nations through Abraham and his “seed.”
The Mosaic Covenant
God established the Mosaic covenant just after the prospect anticipated in Genesis 15 had taken place: the emancipation of Abraham’s descendants from oppression in a foreign land (cf. 15:13–14 cf. Exod. 19:4–6 20:2). The focus at Sinai is less on what Abraham’s descendants must do in order to inherit the land and more on how they must conduct themselves within the land as God’s chosen people (Exod. 19:5–6). In order to be God’s “treasured possession,” “kingdom of priests,” and “holy nation,” Israel must keep God’s covenant by submitting to its requirements (i.e., the stipulations set forth in Exod. 20–23). By adhering to these and the subsequent covenant obligations given at Sinai, Israel would be manifestly different from other nations and thus reflect God’s wisdom and greatness to surrounding peoples (cf. Deut. 4:6–8).
By such means, Abraham’s descendants would not only follow in the footsteps of their ancestor (cf. Gen. 26:5) but would also facilitate the fulfillment of God’s promises (Gen. 18:19). Thus, like Abraham, Israel must “walk before God and be blameless” (Gen. 17:1). Failing to do so would undermine the very reason for Israel’s existence, a lesson that the incident of the golden calf so graphically illustrated (Exod. 32–34). Although God reestablished the covenant (Exod. 34), this was an act of grace rather than justice (34:6–7). Moreover, the re-issuing of the same covenant obligations at the end of this incident demonstrated that Israel’s responsibility had not changed.
By reflecting God’s holiness (Lev. 19:1), Israel would showcase true theocracy and thus serve as God’s witnesses to a watching world. Moreover, since human rebellion threatened to jeopardize God’s ultimate objective (i.e., blessing all nations through Abraham’s “seed”), the Mosaic covenant also encompassed the means by which the divine-human relationship between Yahweh and Israel could be maintained: sacrificial worship, particularly on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16), would ritually atone for Israel’s sin and symbolically express God’s forgiveness. Therefore, just as the Noahic covenant guaranteed the preservation of human life on earth, so the Mosaic covenant guaranteed the preservation of Israel, Abraham’s great nation, in the land. Such was crucial for the next stage in fulfilling God’s promises: establishing a royal line through which Abraham’s ultimate seed and covenant heir would eventually come (cf. Gal. 3:16).
The Davidic Covenant
After Sinai, the next major development comes with Nathan’s oracle to David (2 Sam. 7 1 Chr. 17). David intends to build a house (i.e., temple) for God, but God promises to build a house (i.e., dynasty) for David. Neither 2 Samuel 7 nor 1 Chronicles 17 explicitly describes this promise as a “covenant,” but several other texts do (cf. 2 Sam. 23:5 2 Chr. 7:18 13:5 Ps. 89:3 Jer. 33:21).
The Davidic covenant continues the trajectory of both the Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants. God’s plans for David and Israel are clearly intertwined (cf. 2 Sam. 7:8–11, 23–26). Moreover, significant parallels link David to Abraham:
- God promises both “a great name” (Gen. 12:2 2 Sam. 7:9).
- In the future both will conquer their enemies (Gen. 22:17 2 Sam. 7:11 cf. Ps. 89:23)
- Both have a special divine-human relationship (Gen. 17:7–8 2 Sam. 7:24 cf. Ps. 89:26).
- A special line of “seed” perpetuates both of their names (Gen. 21:12 2 Sam. 7:12–16).
- The descendants of both must keep God’s laws (Gen. 18:19 2 Sam. 7:14 cf. Pss. 89:30–32 132:12).
- The offspring of both would mediate international blessing (Gen. 22:18 Ps. 72:17).
The Davidic covenant thus identifies more precisely the promised “seed” who will mediate international blessing: he will be a royal descendant of Abraham through David.
Therefore this covenant introduces a subtle but significant shift in focus. With the great nation promised to Abraham now firmly established (2 Sam. 7:1), attention zooms in on his royal offspring (cf. Gen. 17:6, 16). This royal line, already traced explicitly in Genesis (cf. 35:11 49:10 see also Gen. 38 and Ruth 4:18–22), culminates in an individual, conquering “seed” who fulfills the promise of Genesis 22:18 and the hope expressed in Psalm 72:17.
The New Covenant
Persistent failure to live according to God’s covenant requirements led to inevitable disaster for both the nation and its monarchy, culminating in judgment: the destroyed temple and Babylonian exile. This might have spelled the end, had God’s plans for Israel not been crucial for fulfilling his covenant promises. The exile of the nation and the demise of the monarchy had somehow to be overcome for God’s goal to be realized. Covenant history thus continued through the prospect of a “new covenant”—one that would be both continuous and discontinuous with those of the past.
Though referred to explicitly as a “new covenant” only once in the OT (Jer. 31:31), several passages, both in Jeremiah and elsewhere, allude to it. In Isaiah this everlasting covenant of peace is closely associated with the Servant figure (Isa. 42:6 49:8 54:10 55:3 61:8). It is inclusive—incorporating even foreigners and eunuchs (Isa. 56:3), but also exclusive—confined to those who “hold fast to” its obligations (Isa. 56:5–6 cf. 56:1–2).
While Jeremiah and Ezekiel use different terminology to describe it, both anticipate a fundamental change taking place in the covenant community: Jeremiah speaks of internalizing the Torah (Jer. 31:33), whereas Ezekiel speaks of spiritual surgery and radical transformation (Ezek. 36:26–27). For both prophets, this inner renewal would result in the ideal divine-human relationship, which this and earlier covenants express in terms of the covenant formula: “I will be their God, and they will be my people.” In this new covenant, all the hopes and expectations of previous covenants attain their climactic fulfillment and eschatological expression.
It is unsurprising, therefore, that the New Testament (“covenant”) declares that all God’s covenant promises are realized in and through Jesus (cf. Luke 1:54–55, 69–75 2 Cor. 1:20), the long-awaited Davidic Messiah (Matt. 1:17–18 2:4–6 16:16 21:9 Luke 2:11 John 7:42 Acts 2:22–36). As the ultimate seed of Abraham (Matt. 1:1 Gal. 3:16) and royal offspring of David (Matt. 1:1 Luke 1:27, 32–33 2:4 Rom. 1:3 2 Tim. 2:8 Rev. 5:5 22:16), Jesus also fulfills the role of Isaiah’s Servant (Acts 3:18 4:27–28 8:32–35)—not only in redeeming Israel (Luke 2:38 Acts 3:25–26 Heb. 9:12,15), but also by mediating God’s blessing to an international community of faith (Acts 10:1–11:18 15:1–29 Rom. 1:2–6 3:22–24 4:16–18 15:8–12 Gal. 3:7–14, 29).
According to the NT Gospels and letters, the new covenant was ratified through Jesus’s death on the cross (cf. Matt. 26:28 Mark 14:24 Luke 22:20 1 Cor. 11:25). In the inaugural Lord’s Supper, Jesus alludes to both the forgiveness linked by Jeremiah to the new covenant (Matt. 26:28 cf. Jer. 31:34), and the blood associated with the establishment of the old (i.e. Mosaic) covenant (Luke 22:20 cf. Exod. 24:7). Accordingly, the NT emphasizes the forgiveness of sins, something only fully attainable under the new covenant (Acts 13:39 cf. Heb. 10:4), as the primary benefit of Jesus’ death (e.g. Luke 1:77 24:46–47 Acts 2:38 10:43 13:38 26:18 Rom. 3:24–25 Eph. 1:7 Col. 1:14 Heb. 9:12, 28 1 John 1:7 Rev. 1:5 7:14 12:10–11).
Thus, according to both Paul and the writer of Hebrews, the new covenant is far superior to the old (i.e. the Mosaic covenant). Such is already implicit in the use of the adjective “new” in 1 Corinthians 11:25 (cf. Luke 22:20), which clearly alludes to the contrast in Jeremiah (31:31–32). Paul is even more pointed, however, in 2 Corinthians 3:1–18, where he explicitly contrasts the new and the old covenants, highlighting the vast inferiority of the old compared with with the surpassing glory and permanence of the new. A similar comparison is also made by his “figurative” contrast between Hagar and Sarah in Galatians 4:21–31.
Analogous conclusions are also drawn by the author of Hebrews. Having noted the superiority of the new covenant in 7:22, the writer elaborates his point through an extended comment on Jeremiah 31:31–34, which forms a literary bracket around much of the argument in Hebrews 8–10 (cf. 8:9–12 10:16–17). Not only does Jesus exercise a permanent, perfect, and heavenly priesthood (7:23–8:6), but the covenant of which he is mediator “is established on better promises” (8:6), explained in terms of an “eternal redemption” (9:12) and “eternal inheritance” (9:15) secured through the blood of Christ (9:11–10:18)—later described as “the blood of the eternal covenant” (13:20). Like Paul, therefore, the contrast is not between something bad and something good, but between something good (but temporal) and something better (because eternal).
While these new covenant realities are in many respects already present (cf. Heb 9:11), it is nevertheless true that the best is still to come. Just as Israel’s restoration hopes were not exhausted in repatriation after the Babylonian exile, neither were they fully realized in the first coming of their Messiah. While in Jesus—the promised seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16), the anticipated “prophet like Moses” (Matt. 17:5 cf. Deut. 18:15), King David’s greater son (Matt. 22:41–46), and the mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 8:6)—God’s covenant promises for both Israel and the nations have come to fruition, the ultimate expression of God’s creative and redemptive goal awaits fulfillment in the eschatological reality of the new creation. Only then will the hope expressed in the covenant formula be most fully experienced (Rev. 21:3), for “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him, And they will reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 22:3–5).
In relation to Biblical Theology
- John Murray, The Covenant of Grace
- Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants. See this review.
- Paul R. Williamson, Sealed with an Oath. See this summary and this review.
- Thomas R. Schreiner, Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World. See this author interview and this review.
In relation to Reformed/Covenant Theology
In relation to contemporary debates
- A. T. B. McGowan, Adam, Christ, and Covenant. See this review.
- J. V. Fesko, The Trinity and the Covenant of Redemption. See this interview with the Author: Part 1 and Part 2. Also this this review and this critique.
- Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum, God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants. See the authors’s interactions with: Horton, Bock & Moo and the author’s response. Also see this review.
- Stephen J. Wellum and Brent E. Parker, Progressive Covenantalism. See this review and this author interview: Part 1 and Part 2.
This essay is part of the Concise Theology series. All views expressed in this essay are those of the author. This essay is freely available under Creative Commons License with Attribution-ShareAlike, allowing users to share it in other mediums/formats and adapt/translate the content as long as an attribution link, indication of changes, and the same Creative Commons License applies to that material. If you are interested in translating our content or are interested in joining our community of translators, please reach out to us.
Social Media Influence, Going Forward
As most fans and advertisers know, not all social media accounts and followings are homogenous.
Many influencers with relatively small followings have more consistent engagement, and are often able to demand high advertising fees as a result.
Conversely, most social media platforms are reckoning with a severe glut of fake accounts or bots that inflate follower counts, impacting everything from celebrities and politicians to personalities and businesses.
Regardless, social media has become a mainstay platform (or soapbox) for today’s cultural influencers. Billions of people turn to social media for news, engagement, recommendations, and entertainment, and new platforms are always on the rise.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of the data used for this story incorrectly counted Facebook likes instead of followers for some personalities. The content has since been corrected and updated.”