Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Experience an authentic meal as it might have been in biblical times at the Explorations in Antiquity Center. Along with food and drink common to the culture of the ancient Middle East, mealtime here includes healthy servings of scriptural interpretations as they relate to the Passover meal and the Last Supper.
A popular experience at The Explorations in Antiquity Center, the biblical meal presentation features a four-course lunch or dinner with beverage (grape juice, water, and/or wine) and 15 food items, including unleavened bread, fruits and sweets. While diners partake, a meal facilitator shares information about the various food items and Passover customs common when Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples.
To add to the authenticity, meals are served in a biblical meal room replicated to look like actual rooms from biblical times; each room is designed to accommodate up to 50 guests. The Jerusalem Biblical Meal Rom is patterned after a meal room discovered a Pompeii. The Mount Zion Biblical Meal Room is a replica of one discovered at Herculeum. Both of these ancient cities were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C. E. and offer an example of First Century culture.
Leaders of church groups may request the meal be presented as much like the Last Supper as possible. Contrary to artists’ renderings that show Jesus and the disciples seated at a table with Jesus at the center, the group more likely shared a reclining meal, as was the custom in that day and time. Whether or not you choose to recline, your meal facilitator will share with you the likely seating arrangement at the Last Supper while you dine on foods commonly enjoyed during that era.
This one-and-a-half hour, information-packed presentation costs $30 (including tax) per adult and $18 per child ages 4-12. Children 3 years and younger are free. Prices include entrance to the Center with all of its archaeological displays and outdoor exhibits, plus an illustrated souvenir brochure about Passover and the Last Supper.
Reserve a mid-day meal or evening mealtime for your small group (minimum of 10, please) or large group (up to 140). Make reservations for the biblical meal by calling the Center at (706) 885-0363.
Biblical Resources is housed in: The Explorations in Antiquity Center 130 Gordon Commercial Drive LaGrange, GA 30240
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The case for the possible rests on a specific combination of research, surmising, guesswork and either the ineptitude or the skittishness of Israeli archeologists who inventoried the tomb thought to contain the bones of the Jewish high priest who ordered Christ's arrest. The tomb, found in 1990, appeared to contain the ossuary, or bone box, of Caiaphas, the jurist who paved the way for the crucifixion. Researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) listed everything found in the cave, including two Roman nails. But unlike everything else in the grave, the nails were otherwise unaccounted for. They were not measured, sketched or photographed, and nowhere to be found in the IAA's vast collection.
At about the same time, a pair of nails showed up at the Tel Aviv University laboratory of Professor Israel Hershkowitz, a forensic expert. His lab already had the only known nail unassailably used in a crucifixion — it was found still embedded in the human heel bone it had been driven through. The mystery nails were smaller but similar: clearly ancient and with the tips hammered sideways, probably to secure them to the surface they've been pounded through. In The Nails of the Cross, the documentary Jacobovici made for Israeli TV and the History Channel, Hershkowitz says the two appear long enough to have been driven through a hand, but that's as far as he'll go.
The producer doesn't blame him. "When you raise the question of Jesus' crucifixion nails," Jacobovici says, "there should be a lot of skepticism."
Indeed the case arrives with no shortage of loose ends. The IAA's inventory states that one nail was found on the floor of the tomb, or cave, and another was found inside an ossuary. But there were 12 ossuaries in the tomb, and there is no record of which one it was in.
Nor is it clear which box most likely contained the bones of the priest the Gospels say pushed Jesus toward death. Caiaphas is an unusual name, not found in any of the other 2,000 ossuaries recovered so far around Jerusalem from roughly the time of Christ. But in this tomb, the name shows up twice. Scholars have focused on an ornate box labeled "Joseph, son of Caiaphas," but Jacobovici suggests the priest's bones were gathered in a simpler one labeled only "Caiaphas."
Also unclear: Why would a priest be buried with a nail? Jacobovici points to scholarship indicating crucifixion nails were regarded by contemporary Jews as holding special healing powers. The bit of paganism was apparently tolerated, even in priestly circles: a woman's skull found in the same tomb contained a Roman coin, presumably included to pay the boatman steering souls across the River Styx.
Gaby Barkay, a professor at Bar Ilan University and probably the most prominent archeologist in Israel, offers another explanation. Jews at the time of Christ "were impurity freaks," Barkay says. Anything in the vicinity of a corpse was thought to be contaminated by death, even a nail stuck in a nearby wall. "Therefore it would probably be removed and put into the grave," he says.
The professor quibbles with other assumptions as well, but notes that "nails in general are a rare thing in tombs of the Second Temple Period," and his presence at a crowded news conference has added weight to Jacobovici's effort. The documentary's producer has won three Emmys and an Overseas Press Club Award, and clearly has earned the respect of scholars willing to tolerate a bit of show business in the bargain. As Barkay puts it, "This is not the way to draw conclusions in science, but it is nonetheless interesting."
Most interesting of all, perhaps, is that 20 years passed before anyone brought attention to the nails in the tomb of the man history knows only for his key role in Christ's crucifixion. The implication, never stated quite out loud in the documentary, is that Jewish archeologists in charge of the dig had little stomach for drawing attention to the Jewish official the Gospels cast as the main villain in the Passion play. Jacobovici notes that Caiaphas may be the only figure named in the Bible whose tomb most scholars agree has been discovered, and the producer spends half the documentary trying to locate it and get a peek inside. The site, uncovered during construction of a park, ends up beneath a stretch of road near a playground.
"Two thousand years of anti-Semitism has been built on this man," says Jacobovici, who promotes an alternative view of the priest. The Nails of the Cross dwells on 1st century non-Gospel writings that portray Caiaphas as an eventual follower of Christ. It's a view that not only softens tensions between Christianity and Judaism, but also offers a possible reason for the presence of the nails in the family tomb: veneration. "I don't think anybody's going to say, 'Crucifixion Nails' exclamation point," Jacobovici says. "I think they're going to write, 'Crucifixion Nails' question mark."
Both headlines summon associations with pieces of the "one true cross" peddled to holy pilgrims at least since Emperor Constantine's mother journeyed to Jerusalem 300 years after the event — and claimed to find it. But at least, the producer tells TIME, the suggestion rises at least in part from the archeological record. "Entire churches have been built around nails that have a lot less going for them than these do," he says.
Watch "Archaeology Digs Up Controversy in Jerusalem."
Find this article at: http://www.blogger.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2064920,00.html
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
When the counselor put the same question to Luther the next day, the reformer apologized for the harsh tone of many of his writings, but said that he could not reject the majority of them or the teachings in them. Luther respectfully but boldly stated,
Luke 3:1) In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2) during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3) And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4) As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
7) He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8) Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9) Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
10) And the crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?" 11) And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise." 12) Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" 13) And he said to them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do." 14) Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."
15) As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16) John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17) His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
18) So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19) But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20) added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.
21) Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22) and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
Monday, April 18, 2011
Mark 4:1) Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2) And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3) "Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4) And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5) Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6) And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7) Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8) And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." 9) And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
10) And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11) And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12) so that
The Purpose of the Parables
13) And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14) The sower sows the word. 15) And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16) And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17) And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18) And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19) but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20) But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Galatians 5:16) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17) For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20) idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21) envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24) And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Mark 11:12) On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13) And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14) And he said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it.
Mark 11:)20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21) And Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." 22) And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. 23) Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25) And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Matthew 23:37) "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 38) See, your house is left to you desolate. 39) For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’"
Luke 15:11) And he said, "There was a man who had two sons. 12) And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13) Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14) And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15) So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16) And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. 17) "But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18) I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19) I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants."’ 20) And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22) But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23) And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24) For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. 25) "Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26) And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27) And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28) But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29) but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30) But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31) And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32) It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’"