links to 4 items worth your time

1. Waiting for God to Act

“We have been seduced by an idolatry that deceives us into thinking that God is mostly found in the big and loud, when in fact, God is almost never found in the big and loud. The ways of God are predominantly small and quiet. The ways of God are about as loud as seed falling on the ground or bread rising in an oven. The ways of God are almost never found in the shouts of the crowd; the ways of God are more often found in trickling tears and whispered prayers. We want God to do a big thing, while God is planning to do a small thing. We are impressed by the big and loud. God is not. We are in a hurry. God is not. We want God to act fast, but Godspeed is almost always slow.

“So we are waiting for God to act, but I would suggest that we are not so much waiting for God to act as we are waiting to become contemplative enough to discern what God is doing.”

2. A Nativity for Our Time

“What sorts of things should Christians really be upset by at Christmas?”

3. The Christus Victor View of the Atonement [essential reading]

“… the Christus Victor perspective inspires disciples to live counter-cultural lives that are persistently on-guard against the demonically seductive pull of nationalism, patriotism, culturally endorsed violence, greed, racism and a host of other structural evils that are part of the spiritually polluted air we all breath.”

4. 2,000-year-old ‘Pilate’ ring just might have belonged to notorious Jesus judge

“An intriguing 2,000-year-old copper alloy ring bearing the inscription ‘of Pilatus’ may be only the second artifact testifying to the historicity of the infamous Pontius Pilate. Unearthed 50 years ago, the ring was overlooked until recently, when it got a good scrub, and a second look. …

“While the name Pontius was common for Romans during the Second Temple, Pilate was not.”

links to the land

 

Aizanoi: Aizanoi (Turkey) — A Monumental Site — Visited by Paul?

“One of the best-preserved temples of the ancient world is located there as are the impressive remains of a stadium, theater, bathhouse, meat market, etc.”

Archaeology & children: An Unlikely Dig

“The archaeological site at Tel Esur, on the coast south of Haifa, allows students to discover ancient artifacts – as well as their own capabilities.”

Ephraim/Taybeh: Tour Taybeh – Not just for Oktoberfest Anymore

“‘Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim …’ (John 11.54).”

Herodium: * Herod’s Tomb at Herodium; * A Look into Loggia at Herodium

* “Haaretz newspaper carried an article today by Nir Hasson, reporting on the seventh annual conference, ‘Innovations in Archaeology in Jerusalem and the Surrounding Area.’ During that conference, two archaeologists, Joseph Patrich and Benny Arubas challenged Ehud Netzer’s identification of Herod’s Tomb that was found at Herodium near Bethlehem.”

* “At the Herod exhibit at the Israel museum there is a room that is a reconstruction of the loggia, the VIP box from the Herodium theater …”

Jerusalem: Walking Atop the Walls of Jerusalem

“I have seen the Old City of Jerusalem from every direction. … But the most unique way I’ve seen the city is from atop its walls. … A visitor can walk atop most of the Old City wall of Jerusalem … This quick tour travels atop the wall of Jerusalem from the Jaffa Gate to the Dung Gate.”

Shechem: Joseph’s Tomb at Shechem

“Eventually, Joseph’s bones were buried at Shechem.”

Solomon’s Temple: Searching for the Temple of King Solomon

“For centuries, scholars have searched in vain for any remnant of Solomon’s Temple. The fabled Jerusalem sanctuary, described in such exacting detail in 1 Kings 6, was no doubt one the most stunning achievements of King Solomon in the Bible, yet nothing of the building itself has been found because excavation on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, site of the Temple of King Solomon, is impossible.

“Fortunately, several Iron Age temples discovered throughout the Levant bear a striking resemblance to the Temple of King Solomon in the Bible. Through these remains, we gain extraordinary insight into the architectural grandeur of the building that stood atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount nearly 3,000 years ago.”

Temple Mount: Underground Battle for the Temple Mount

“… the story of the underground excavations and the struggle that took place inside Warren’s Gate in 1981. Warren’s Gate is the northern-most of the four original Herodian gateways that gave access to the Temple Mount through the Western Wall.”

links to the land

 

Recently (May 14-25) I was privileged to fulfill a long-time dream: to make a trip to Israel! I intend to begin posting in regard to this trip next week.

However, starting today I will make weekly posts (on Wednesdays) of links to recent, noteworthy online articles concerning some of the sites the group of which I was a part visited, as well as related matters. These posts will will run under the title Links to the Land. Click the blue and enjoy!

Herod the Great/Herodium: * Herod the Great Exhibition in the Israel Museum; * Herod Exhibit Virtual Tour Online

* “Last March I was able to visit this exhibition and it took my breath away. We were fortunate to have special permission to film before the exhibition was opened to visitors as I was part of a team making a documentary for the National Geographic.”

* “The Israel Museum has created a virtual tour of the Herod the Great exhibit in which you can ‘walk’ through the nine galleries, viewing the reconstructions, listening to audio explanations, and watching several video pieces. The gallery is loosely arranged after the journey of Herod from the place of his death in Jericho to his burial at Herodium.”

Khirbet Qeiyafa: Premiere of a New Khirbet Qeiyafa Short Film is Right Here

“A new short film titled “Khirbet Qeiyafa: A Fortified City in the Kingdom of Judah” now debuts on this blog. It summarizes the major finds at Khirbet Qeiyafa and presents the excavators’ conclusions on how the site shapes our understanding of biblical Judah. Khirbet Qeiyafa is the modern name for a 3,000 year-old ancient city dating to the time of kings Saul and David. It is located where David slew Goliath along the Philistine-Judah border as described in 1 Samuel 17.”

Pharisees: No and Yes on the Pharisees

“There are several reasons why the Pharisees are misunderstood … Here are some important truths about the Pharisees …”

Qumran: Picture of the Week: Qumran Caves

“This seems to be a week where Hebrew scrolls are in the news more often than normal …”

Samaria/Sebastia: * Rich Holy Land Site Succumbs to Neglect; * Holy Land Archaeological Treasure Hurt by Politics

* “… today the hilltop capital of biblical kings, later ruled by Roman conquerors, Crusaders and Ottomans, is marred with weeds, graffiti and garbage. Caught between conflicting Israeli and Palestinian jurisdictions, the site has been largely neglected by both sides for the past two decades. Beyond the decay, unauthorized diggers and thieves have taken advantage of the lack of oversight to make off with priceless artifacts.”

* “Therein lies the problem: Most of the ruins lie in areas under full Israeli control, with some in areas under Palestinian civilian control but shared security responsibilities under the 1990s peace deals that divvied up the West Bank into zones of authority. The Palestinians claim all of the West Bank, captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967, as part of a future state. The situation deteriorated greatly with the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in late 2000. Although the fighting has ended, care for the site has since dropped away because of security fears. Visits by Israeli citizens need to be coordinated with the Israeli military.”

Shechem: Shechem

“Recently, Dutch and Palestinian archaeologists have been digging on a lot that has become an unofficial dump for garbage and old car parts of the city of Nablus, ancient Shechem. The  project is sponsored by the Palestinian Department of Antiquities, which is trying to recover the rich history of ancient Shechem.”