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Beshir Kamel lost two brothers who were amongst the twenty-one Christians executed by ISIS terrorists in February 2015. Everyone involved in this horrific event, both the victims and the perpetrators, were of Arab origins.

When it comes to the Middle East we presume to know the “good guys” from the “bad guys.” Aren’t all Middle East conflicts the result of an Old Testament prophecy related to the descendants of Ishmael? Aren’t Ishmael’s descendants said to be against everyone? Aren’t the sworn enemies of Israel all Arabs?

A recent trip to Israel influenced me to re-examine a number of my conceptions regarding Arab people.


A clearer understanding of the Biblical story of Ishmael, from whom Arab nations trace their origin, was helpful in clearing up my misconceptions.

Through the appalling activities of ISIS in the Middle East, we are witnessing one of the most barbaric episodes in modern human history – but the atrocities are not Arab-based – they are sin-based.

In the midst of the horror and the feelings of anger and helplessness, a remarkable kind of response has emerged.

You can read the rest of the article in the TESTIMONY magazine.

Has this biblical perspective helped shape your thinking on the Middle East and Arabs?

Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Jacquelyn Schafer says:

    Thanks for your light on this. Too many people misinterpreting the bible and using it as a weapon of hate against all people of Arab descent. Jesus Christ came that ALL might be saved.

  • Carol Burlaka says:

    Yes. Amen 🙂

  • Shirley Bidnick says:

    Congratulations on being published in Testimony Magazine. You certainly highlight the value of cultural context and multiple translations in understanding the Bible. These tools weren’t available when I tried to read the King James as a child. Thank God for giving them to me now! Your article provides a breath of hope for peace in a tinderbox of conflict that is ready to be fuelled into flames by the misunderstanding that exists in the world and my own heart.

  • bob jones says:

    Thank you Jacquelyn for reading and commenting on the article. I’m kinda proud of myself, that at my age I can still learn new things. 🙂 Everyday is a good day for learning! God bless the Middle East.

  • bob jones says:

    Thanks, Shirley. I hope the article would help people examine their own assumptions and create a stronger platform for prayer for the Middle East and God’s glory. Forgiveness is divine.

  • Shirley Bidnick says:

    Mission accomplished. It helped me examine my heart. It was softened by a whole new way of looking at the word donkey. It transformed disdain to respect in an instant and broadened my understanding. Oh, the power of words!

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