Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

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Mountain of Light
Music: Arvo Pärt
St Bede says that Christ’s Transfiguration should remind us that we live in two worlds at the same time.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

INTENDING to display his glory to his disciples, he led them to a high mountain, to teach everyone who wishes to see this not to wallow among base pleasures, or serve fleshly enticements, or cling to earthly desires, but to rouse himself towards what is above by the love of things that are eternal.

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Four Posts
Macarius and the Hyena
Music: George Frideric Handel
A monk of the Egyptian desert helped a desperate mother, and was richly rewarded.
Based on ‘The Lives of the Desert Fathers’
(4th century)

THEY say that as Macarius was praying one day, a hyena crept into his desert cave and began to lick his feet.

Finding the monk slow to comprehend, the hyena gently tugged at his tunic and tried to draw him towards the door.

Still puzzled, Macarius followed her until they came to her own cave.

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Bede and the Paschal Controversy
three-part story
Music: George Frideric Handel
The earliest Christians longed to celebrate the resurrection together at Passover, but that was not as easy as it sounds.

CHRIST died and rose again at Passover, the week-long Jewish festival at the first full moon of Spring. Christians had always wanted to celebrate Easter at that time each year, but no astronomer could determine the vernal equinox or full moon with precision.

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Lost Innocence
Music: Frank Bridge
In the fourth century, Britain’s Christians acquired a taste for watering down the mystery of their message.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

WHERE the uproar of persecution subsided, Christ’s faithful, who during the crisis had buried themselves in woods and remote, lonely caves, went out in public. They renovated ruined churches, founded, built and finished off churches dedicated to the holy martyrs, unfurling them everywhere like victory banners, and celebrated feast days, doing everything with clean and holy hearts and lips.

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Passover to Pentecost
Music: George Frideric Handel
St Bede explains how the Exodus and the Ten Commandments are related to Easter and Whitsuntide.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

THE children of Israel, delivered from slavery in Egypt by the sacrifice of a lamb, set out across the desert towards the Promised Land, and came to Mount Sinai.

There, fifty days after Passover, the Lord descended upon the summit amid the sound of trumpets, and thunderclaps and lightning flashes, and laid down the Ten Commandments.

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AZ Index

See a complete A-Z List of all the stories on this website.

Featured Topic
Tagged ‘Tales from the Bible’ (22 posts)
page 1
1 Joseph and the Coat of Many Colours
Joseph’s brothers decide they have had enough of their rival in their father’s affections.
2 Perilous Waters
King Saul’s jealousies drove those who loved him away, but David was a very different kind of leader.
3 The First Easter
In a translation from the Authorised Version of the Bible, published in 1611, St Mark recounts the discovery of Christ’s empty tomb.
4 The History of Susannah
A young Jewish woman in ancient Babylon falls victim to a heartless conspiracy.
5 The Judgment of Solomon
The tenth-century King of Israel demonstrated his legendary wisdom in a delicate custody battle.
6 The Story of Esther
A young Jewish girl is chosen as the Queen of Persia, but quickly finds she has enemies.
page 2
7 Daniel and the Priests of Bel
An apparent miracle is revealed as sleight-of-hand.
8 The Good Samaritan
Our responsibilities are not defined by laws or borne by governments. They are defined by mercy, and borne by love.
9 The Story of Pentecost
Jesus’s apostles receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and the startling effects quickly draw a crowd.
10 The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Five young women cared enough about a man’s wedding-day to make the smallest of sacrifices, and received the best of rewards.
11 The Sunday of Palms and Willows
For centuries, northern countries from Russia to England have laid the catkins of the willow tree before Jesus as he enters Jerusalem.
12 Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve are set in a Garden of carefree delight, but the Snake swears they are victims of a cruel deception.
page 3
13 Elisha and the Fiery Horsemen
The King of Syria goes on a mole-hunt, but Elisha does not seem to mind being his prime suspect.
14 The Man Born Blind
A man born blind is healed by Jesus, but finds himself a social outcast as a result.
15 Elisha and Naaman the Syrian
Naaman had very fixed ideas about what it takes to get a miracle.
16 Noah’s Flood
God’s love proved to be bigger and stronger than all man’s wickedness.
17 The Adoration of the Magi
Persian star-gazers hasten to Israel for the birth of a royal heir, but find that King Herod has had his fill of them.
18 David and Bathsheba
David’s scheme to steal another man’s wife succeeded, but he could not keep his secret from everyone.
page 4
19 Daniel in the Lions’ Den
The King who condemned him to the den of lions felt far worse about it than Daniel did.
20 The Parable of the Prodigal Son
Love doesn’t make people pay for past mistakes.
21 Cain and Abel
Smarting for his outraged ‘rights’, Cain lost his reason — but not God’s pity and love.
22 Belshazzar’s Feast
Prince Belshazzar’s disrespectful behaviour left him facing the original ‘writing on the wall’.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Verb or Noun?

Use each of the words below once as a noun and once as a verb:

Dance. Spring. Know.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Edge’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Try writing complete sentences using these adjectives in the predicative position.
Work out these percentages in your head. See how quickly you can solve the sums.
Do you know ‘cup’ (6 letters), and ‘unit of resistance’ (3 letters)?
Decide whether a word is a verb or a noun (or both), and compose example sentences.
Do you know ‘a temperature scale’ (6 letters), and ‘a bit of useful advice’ (3 letters)?
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Longest Word (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic