Friday, December 24, 2010

My New Weekly column at Patheos

http://www.patheos.com/About-Patheos/William-Hamblin.html

I'll be exploring the Gospel of John for a few months.

New book notice

Dan Lioy, Axis of Glory: A Biblical and Theological Analysis of the Temple Motif in Scripture, (Peter Lang, 2010).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New commentary on John 17.9

An examination of the antithesis between Jesus and the World/kosmos.  Can be downloaded from:
Scribd
Download from Scribd
Web
Download from Web page
Dropbox
Download from Dropbox

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Commentary on John 17.8

An exploration of John 17.8 focusing on what it means to accept Christ’s words, and the relationship between faith/trust and knowledge.  Available on these sites

Scribd
Scribd site

Web
Web page link

Dropbox
DropBox link

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Commentary on John 17.7

Discussion on the meaning of "all things given" to Christ by the Father in John 17.7.
Available here:


Web Page
Web link


DropBox
DropBox link


Scribd
Scribd link

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New book notice

Interesting examination of the relationship between the Gospel of John and the Aramaic Targums:

J. Ronning, The Jewish Targums and John's Logos Theology (2010).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Commentary on Jn 17.5, Before the world

Can be downloaded from these sites.

Mobile Me
Mobile Me

Scribd
Scribd

Dropbox
Dropbox

Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Book Notice


Christopher Rowl and Christopher R.A. Morray-Jones, The Mystery of God: Early Jewish Mysticism and the New Testament (Brill, 2009), ISBN 978-9004175327

This is a great book synthesizing the vast amount study in the past few decades on early Jewish mysticism, with fascinating information concerning celestial ascent and the temple.  However, being it's published by Brill, it has the ghastly price of $272.  Aaaaaaarrrrrgh!

It is volume 12 in the Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

John 17 commentary

I've placed the first three chapters in Dropbox, which makes them easier to download.

John 17-1

John 17-2

John 17-3

Commentary on John 17.3

Can be found at:

Web page source

or

Scribd source

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Some Responses to the New Atheists

Berlinski, D. The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (2009)
Eagleton, T. Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate
Flew, A. There is No A God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (2008)
Hart, D. Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies  (2010)
Hedges, C. When Atheism Becomes Religion
Haught, J. God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens
McGrath, A. The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine (2010)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Two new books on the Temple in the NT

N Perrin, Jesus the Temple (Baker, 2010)
T. Gray, Temple in the Gospel of Mark (Baker, 2010)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Commentary on John 17

I’m starting a detailed study of Christ’s intercessory prayer in John 17.  I’ll be occasionally posting my commentary on the topic.  Here is my commentary on John 17:1.
A pdf file can be downloaded from:
John 17:1 commentary (site 1)
or
John 17:1 commentary (site 2)

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Book notice

A very nice new book on one of the most important temple complexes in ancient Egypt traces the importance of the site through over 3000 years.

David O'Connor, Abydos: Egypt's First Pharaohs and the Cult of Osiris (Thames and Hudson, 2009).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Temple and Cross

Here is a preliminary draft of an paper on the temple origins of cross symbolism that I'm working on as part of a larger project.
PDFs can be found at two sites:



Friday, November 5, 2010

Boethius on celestial ascent and deification

Boethius' {480-524} famous Consolation of Philosophy includes several passages describing the ascent of the soul to God, resulting in its deification.  These can be found in 3.9 (poem), 4.1 (poem).  He discusses deification in  3.10.22-25 and 4.3.  His perspective is that of a Neoplatonic Christian.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Book Notice

Mark Glickman, Sacred Treasure, the Cairo Genizah (2010)
On the story of the creation, discovery, and publication of the great medieval Jewish archive from the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo from the 11th century.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Book Notice


Z Benite, The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History (Oxford 2010), 

on the history of the idea of the Lost Ten Tribes.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Isaiah 7-12

My next batch of temple studies note on Isaiah are available on Scribd.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/38266153/Temple-themes-in-Isaiah-7-12

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Temple Themes in Isaiah 2 (pt 2)

Isaiah 2 (part 2)
While Israel’s wickedness and apostasy have caused Yahweh to reject his temple (1:10-20), resulting in the devastation of the land and people, Isaiah still offers hope for the future.  This hope rests on the eventual reestablishment of the temple and the return of Yahweh’s presence as described in 2:2-4 and 4:2-6 (and elsewhere). 

The foundational passage for Isaiah’s hope is the famous prophecy in 2:2-5 (paralleled in Micah 4:1-5).  
(2) In latter days the Mount of Yahweh’s house 
will be firmly established on the top of the mountains.
Then all the Nations (goyim) will flow to it.  
(3) Indeed, many Peoples (‘amīm) will come and say:
‘Let us go and ascend the Mount of Yahweh
to the house of the God of Jacob
That he may teach us his Way
So we may walk in his paths.’
For from Zion shall go forth the Law (torah)
And the word (debar) of Yahweh from Jerusalem.
(4) So shall he judge between the Nations (goyim)
And arbitrate among many Peoples (‘amīm)
That they may beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Thus nation will not raise sword against nation
Nor shall they ever again study war.
(5) Come, O House of Jacob,
Let us walk in the Light of Yahweh!
In a sense, this passage highlights the great overarching theme of Isaiah.  Israel’s wickedness and apostasy will cause nations to flood into Israel bringing war, devastation and destruction (8:7-8).  But if Israel will “walk in the Light of Yahweh” and “firmly establish” the temple, then the nations will flow (2:2) into Israel and bring universal peace.  

But first, Yahweh’s temple (beth, house) must be “firmly established,” permitting the Lord to return to his temple and accept the prayers and offerings.  As described throughout Isaiah, this is accomplished through the repentance of Israel, and the restoration of proper temple practices.  Only then will the House of Yahweh be firmly established, as opposed to the desecration of the temple described in 1:10-20.  

In the process Yahweh’s temple will be established “on the top of the mountains” (2:2b).  This symbol is in allusion to the widespread ancient Near East concept of the cosmic holy mountain as the dwelling place of God.  Here Isaiah is describing Yahweh’s mountain/temple being exalted on the top of other mountains.  The allusion here is broadly related to the time when “Yahweh alone will be exalted” (2:11b, 17b).  More specifically, however, it probably describes either Yahweh’s temple in Jerusalem replacing other Israelite temples and high places (as per the reforms of Hezekiah, 2 Chr 29-30; 2 Kgs 18), or the establishment of Yahweh’s sacred mountain as superior to the other sacred mountains of the gods of the nations.  When Yahweh’s temple mount is exalted above all other temple-mountains of the gods of the nations/gentiles, then all peoples will flow to worship there (56:7b).  What will exalt Yahweh’s temple mount over all others?  The repentance of Israel, and the restoration of proper temple cult which will allow Yahweh to return to his temple (4:2-6), as will be discussed later.

Only when Yahweh’s temple has assumed its proper place as the greatest temple mount, will the nations ascend to it to learn the Way of Yahweh, which is consists of the Torah-Law (scripture), and the Word of Yahweh (revelation-prophecy) (2:3).  This can occur, of course, only if Israel itself walks in the Way of Yahweh and the Light of Yahweh.  Hence Isaiah’s great message to Israel is “come, let us walk in the Light of Yawheh” (2:5).  

  Thus, as the nations gather to the temple mount, they must ascend the Way of Yahweh, which is the sacred way leading up the mountain into the temple (2:3).  When they arrive, Yahweh will judge and arbitrate among all peoples, establishing universal righteousness, justice, and peace (2:4).  Until then, however, the nations come to Israel not to worship Yahweh and make peace, but to bring war and devastation to a wicked and apostate people.  

Jeffery Bradshaw's New Book

Jeffery Bradshaw has recently published Temple Themes in the Book of Moses (Eborn, 2010).  I've just started reading it, and it looks excellent.  For more on Bradshaw's work, see his web page at:
http://www.templethemes.net/

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Temple Themes in Isaiah 2 (pt 1)


Isaiah 2 (part 1)
Having set the stage with the condemnation of apostate Judah, and Yahweh’s rejection of the temple in chapter 1, Isaiah proceeds to describe Yahweh’s promised reconciliation with Judah, and restoration of Yahweh’s presence to his temple (2:2-4, 4:2-6).  I’ll discuss these sections later.  First, however, we need to examine the ways in which the temple apostasy manifests itself in Isaiah 2.   
In addition to his concern for social injustice and wickedness in Judah, Isaiah emphasizes three temple-related activities which contribute to Yahweh’s rejection of the temple (cf. 8:16-22; 2 Ki. 16:3-4, 10-16; 2 Ch. 28:2-4, 23-25).  First is the veneration of idols in the temple (2:8), in explicit violation of the Mosaic Law (Ex 20:4, Dt 4:14).  (This theme is amplified in 44:6-20.)  Isaiah prophesies that these idols--whether of Yahweh or of foreign gods is not clear--will eventually be cast away as impotent as against the coming disasters (2:18, 20).  Isaiah emphasizes the difference between Yahweh’s ideal and dismal Judean reality with the refrain, “Yahweh alone will be exalted in that day” (2:11b, 17b), meaning the idols that had been worshiped in the temple will ultimately be cast down and rejected (2:20), and Yahweh alone will be exalted and worshipped.
Isaiah also makes reference to cultic practices and practitioners whose activities profane the temple.  Isaiah condemns Judah for consulting “soothsayers” (‘anan), who practiced prognostication (2:6; Ezek 13:9), rather than heeding authentic prophets like Isaiah.  Such practices are expressly forbidden by Yahweh (Dt 18:10, 14; Lev 19:26; 2 Kgs 21:6, describing Manasseh, son of Hezekiah).  Assuming this practice is an allusion to the types of things that went on the days of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, in the decades following the death of Isaiah, it is likely that these soothsayers were operating within the temple (2 Kgs 21, esp 21:6).  
Finally, there is the problem of worship in sacred groves, perhaps associated with the groves of the Canaanite goddess Asherah (2 Kgs 23:4).  
Those who forsake [the worship of] Yahweh shall perish
For they shall be ashamed of the oaks they desired
And you shall blush for the gardens you have chosen (1:28-29)
Here the point seems to be that Judah has forsaken the licit worship of Yahweh in the temple, choosing instead to worship sacred oaks in sacred gardens, in violation of the proscription in Dt 16:21: “You shall not plant any tree as a sacred pole beside the altar that you make for the LORD your God.”  Do the oak and grove the people desired refer to garden precincts created within the temple, or alternate worship at gardens in high places?  In either event, it alludes to the widespread Near Eastern practice of worshipping in sacred groves and gardens in temple precincts.  
Thus, according to Isaiah, Yahweh’s rejection of the temple is based not only on Judean social injustice as described in detail throughout his book, but because of illicit practices and rituals within the temple.  Isaiah’s call for the purification of temple cult should be seen in the context of the apostate temple practices of Isaiah’s contemporary king Ahaz {732-715 BCE} (2 Ki. 16:3-4, 10-16; 2 Ch. 28:2-4, 23-25), and the important temple reforms undertaken by Ahaz’s son--and Isaiah’s disciple--Hezekiah {715-687 BCE} (2 Chr 29-30; 2 Kgs 18).  
It is interesting to note that Ahaz’s full name (as identifiable by Assyrian inscriptions, ANET 282) is Yeho-‘ahaz, meaning “Yahweh has grasped [his hand as a token of the covenant of kingship].”  Isaiah 2:6b condemns Judah because they “clasp hands with the children of foreigners” (KJV garbles “clasp hands” as “please themselves”).  This is probably an allusion to Ahaz becoming a vassal--by the ritual clasping the hand--of Tiglathpileser of Assyria (2 Kgs 16:7-9), and adopting in the process some Assyrian/Aramean temple practices (2 Kgs 16:10-11).  Thus Ahaz, whose hand Yahweh had grasped in royal covenant, refused to trust in Yahweh’s covenant (Isa 7:10-12), choosing instead “grasp the hand” of the king of Assyria.  

Temple Motifs in Isaiah 1

I've decided to post parts of an ongoing study of temple motifs in the Old Testament, beginning with Isaiah.  Here's the first.  

--------------------------

Temple Motifs in Isaiah 1
The book of Isaiah begins with a horrific description of the devastation of the kingdom of Judea, probably alluding to the invasion of the Assyrians in 701 BCE (1:1-9).  Because the people have “forsaken Yahweh” (1:4), Yahweh has rejected his temple (1:10-20).  The description of this rejection includes a fairly detailed list of some of the major activities that took place in the temple seeking blessings from the Yahweh, and Isaiah’s explanation of why these have failed.  
Yahweh proclaims that he has had enough of blood and sacrifice (1:11; cf. 1 Sam 15:22; Ps 50:7-15; Hos 6:6).  He no longer wants the people to appear before him and “trample the courts” of his temple (1: 12).  Incense has become an “abomination” (1:13), and Yahweh will no longer attend the temple assemblies on the holy days (1: 14).  Most importantly, when the people “lift up their hands” to heaven in prayer, Yahweh turns his face away and will not listen, because their uplifted hands are “full of blood” of wickedness (1: 14).  The paradox here is that the sacrificial blood required on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:14) has been replaced with the blood of murder and oppression which are instead surreptitiously offered by wicked Israel.  Thus, all the standard activities of the temple--sacrifice, incense in the Holy Place, assemblies and prayer--have been rejected by Yahweh.  
But, as always, Isaiah, Yahweh offers hope.  To be acceptable, however, Israel must undergo both a ritual washing (1: 16a) along with a moral rebirth (1: 16b-17).  Alluding to the Day of Atonement Yahweh proclaims “thought your sins are like scarlet, they shall become like snow” (1: 18b).  There is still hope for Israel, but only if they return to Yahweh: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall each the good [things] of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be eaten by the sword [of the invading Assyrians]” (1:19-20).   Isaiah thus insists that the outward performance the temple rituals will avail Israel nothing without repentance and righteousness which will allow Jerusalem and the temple again become “the city of righteousness, the faithful city” (1: 26b).  As we shall see (e.g. 2:2-5, 4:2-6), Isaiah is not here rejecting the temple and its rites as the proscribed means to approach Yahweh, but vacuous temple rites of hypocritical outward performances masking wickedness and rebellion.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm back!

I'm back in the USA after a year in Jerusalem (and two weeks in Central Asia).  I'll start blogging again soon, using all the materials I've been gathering over the past year.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

On a value of prayer

So I was kicked out of another church today.  This time, Russian Orthodox church of Alexander Nevsky.  (What has Alexander Nevsky to do with Jerusalem, you might ask.  Don't.)  

The church has "judgement gate" an old Roman/Herodian gate, onto which the gate of the Holy Sepulcher was built, so it has the largest archaeological remains of Constantine's original church.  There was a nun praying there, intensely chanting and occasionally bowing.  So I set up my tripod and camera and went to work.  I took two 360 panoramas, and several dozen other pictures of everything of interest, all the time taking care not to disturb the nun in her prayers.  After about a half an hour of photography, the nun stopped her prayers, looked and me, and said, in Russian, "you can't take pictures here."  Considering I was actually done photographing, I didn't object, but was quietly expelled.  I don't know if the nun was so intense in prayer that she hadn't noticed me, or if she was annoyed for a half an hour, but refused to stop her prayers to throw me out.  At any rate, because of her intense devotion, I got to take all the pictures I wanted before being expelled.  

The outer wall of Constantin'e Church

Herodian stones = stones with Herodian bosses reused in the Holy Sepulcher, quite possibly from the Temple Mount.



The inner wall of the main gate to Constantine's Holy Sepulcher

The nun at prayer before the stone where Russian  tradition holds Christ fell while on the way to Golgotha.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm an anti-Semite?

So, I'm walking down the street minding my own business, and American-Israeli walks up to me and says, "will you sign a petition to Pres. Obama calling for an undivided Jerusalem?” I said no thanks and continued on my way. On the way back I saw this guy again and he asked the same question I said no thanks. Couple days later, I'm walking through the same place, the Mamila mall, and the same guy is there asking the same question. So I said to him, “sorry, you asked the same question yesterday.” And he says, “did you sign the petition then?” I said no, and he said, “why not?” So I said, “do you really want to get into a political discussion?” And his reply was, “anyone who does not support an undivided Jerusalem with Israeli control of the Temple Mount is an anti-Semite.” I started laughing and walked away. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm back

I've been to the Galilee for two weeks.  New posts soon.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New book on Theosis/Deification

N Russell, Fellow Workers With God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis (2009), ISBN-10: 0881413399

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Photos

The Church of the Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount in Galilee
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamblinofjerusalem/sets/72157623423035007/

And the tombs at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamblinofjerusalem/sets/72157623442060149/

Video on Gen 1:3

Kabod/Glory of God as the light of Creation

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Palestinian Unrest

Sparked by Israeli plans to "renovate" shared holy sites of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel's tomb, and proposed demolition of 100 Palestinian house in Silwan.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0301/Will-Israel-heritage-sites-spark-next-Palestinian-intifada

The unrest has recently spread to the Temple Mount reflecting fears of Israeli plans to sieze the Haram as well.

Photos of the Wilderness of Zin

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamblinofjerusalem/sets/72157623539551454/

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thomas and Christ

A gorgeous (though damaged) 12th century mural from the Orthodox Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem shows Doubting Thomas meeting Christ.

St George Anglican Cathedral, Jerusalem

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamblinofjerusalem/sets/72157623512260678/

Monday, February 22, 2010

New photos of the Kotel Tunnel in Jerusalem

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamblinofjerusalem/sets/72157623363726557/

The tunnel running from the Western Wall along the wall of the Temple Mount, exposing a number of gates and foundation stones of Herod's Temple.

Also, some new videos on Genesis 1:2

http://www.youtube.com/user/HamblinOfJerusalem

Friday, February 19, 2010

New Photos

I'm trying out the Flickr site for web presentation of my Israel photos.  It can be found at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamblinofjerusalem/

It can be accessed in a more organized way here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamblinofjerusalem/sets/

Gen 1:2a

New "Biblical Explorations" video on Gen 1:2a

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v85N1jJzl8U

Church of Viri Galilaei (Men of Galilee)

Slides of the Church of Viri Galilaei (Men of Galilee) on the top of the Mount of Olives, dedicated to the Ascension of Christ

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamblinofjerusalem/sets/72157623466035862/

There are a number of icons with mystical symbols of Christology.

Very nice 360 pans of Jerusalem

Alas, I didn't take these, but they are well done 360 pans of the Haram and the Holy Sepulcher:

http://www.360tr.com/kudus/

The ones of the Haram al-Sharif include several interior shots of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque which are generally not open to tourists.

Especially interesting is the one showing the tunnels under the Aqsa Mosque.

http://www.360tr.com/kudus/mescidiaksa_eng/index.html

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rebuilding the temple?

The Temple Institute and other Third Temple movements have started to construct an "exact replica" of the Temple in Mizpe Yericho (a Jewish settlement near Jericho) to be used to train priests to perform the Temple sacrifices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPrvJTGePYs&feature=related

They've also laid a foundation stone for the altar there.

http://www.templeinstitute.org/archive/30-07-09a.htm

I'll try to visit it in the next little while and report.

PS  Some people are a bit overenthusiastic about this:

http://thelastcrusade.org/2009/10/14/jews-begin-construction-of-third-temple-in-jerusalem/

Friday, February 12, 2010

Aish Torah Center

On the eastern edge of the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, overlooking the Western Wall plaza from the southwest, the Aish Torah center has recently opened.

http://international.aish.com/aishint/

On the roof of the Center they have a belvedere which gives a great view of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, where they have a model of Herod's Temple.  Here's a couple of photos:


View of the Temple model and the Dome of the Rock


The "Fire of the Torah" inside the Center


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dome and Center

Here's the Dome of the Rock with the BYU Center in the distance


And here's where I live.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Karnak temple photos

Photos of Karnak on Picasa

http://picasaweb.google.com/HamblinWJ/KarnakTemple#

Tomb as Holy of Holies

This is an interesting sculpture form the Catholic Church of St. Lazarus at Bethany.  It is the altar in the apse of the Church, and represents an empty sarcophagus.  I assume it is meant to represent the empty tomb of Christ which the resuscitation of Lazarus prefigures.  At any rate, the scene shows the empty sarcophagus of Christ, with the burial shroud resting on the edge.  On both sides angels open a veil to reveal the tomb.  The symbolic context seems to be an equation of the Holy of Holies with the Tomb (as in the Holy Sepulcher), the empty sarcophagus with the Ark, the shroud with the veil of the temple, and the two angels at the empty tomb with the temple Cherubim.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Samaritan High Priest has passed away

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=167868


The Samaritan High Priest office stretches back unbroken to biblical times; the High Priest oversees the annual Samaritan pascal sacrifice at the ruins of the Samaritan temple, the last surviving vestige of biblical sacrifice.  I meet Elazar ben Tsedaka once; he was a charming man.  

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Biblical Explorations

I've decided to read the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, and I'm experimenting with recording my study with ScreenFlow and Accordance.  Here's the first brief introduction.  In theory more will follow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbeyzP7tvlQ

http://www.youtube.com/user/HamblinOfJerusalem

Friday, January 29, 2010

Back from a week in Egypt

I had a great time visiting and photographing the sites.  More later.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Temple Mosaics from el-Khirbe synagogue

The samaritan mosaic at el-Khirbe near modern Sebaste (ancient Samaria) has a marvelous mosaic of the tempe.  (Currently at the Inn of the Good Samaritan Museum midway between Jericho and Jerusalem.)

1.  The entire scene.



2. Closeup of the Temple (note the medallions on the veil).



3. Closeup of the offering table.



4. Closeup of Menorah, shofar, and incense shovel.


Lazarus's Tomb

Lazarus's Tomb in Bethany is the traditional site of the burial and raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus (John 11)  The following are slides of the tomb.

1. Looking down the stairs into the outer chamber.



2.  Looking up the stairs from the outer chamber.



3.  The outer chamber looking towards the entrance to the tomb.



4. The burial chamber.


Foggy Day in Jerusalem

Monday 19 Jan was the foggiest day I've ever seen in Jerusalem.  From my balcony from the BYU Center I can usually clearly see the Dome of the Rock.  Not yesterday:


Monday, January 18, 2010

"Imagining Astrology"

Interesting conference forthcoming in Bristol in England.

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/birtha/imaginingastrology

Father and Holy Spirit on dome of Monastery of Temptations

These photos are from the dome of the central chapel of the monastery of Temptations (Quruntul) at Jericho, Palestine.  The Spirit is symbolized by the dove; the Son is not present.  The Father is depicted as pantocrator (ruler of all), and has a triangular halo, characteristic of depictions of the Father.  The halo has the Greek words, ho on, "the one who is," which is the Septuagint translation of the mystical name of God in Exodus 3:14, "I am."

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

These are the key phrases:

English: "I am who I am"  ---    "I am"
Hebrew: "ehyah asher ehyah" --- "ehyah"
Greek: "ego eimi ho on" --- "o on"









Saturday, January 16, 2010

Temple Mosaic from Khirbet Samara

Khirbet Samara, an ancient Samaritan Synagogue near ancient Samaria (Sebaste), contains the finest ancient mosaic of the Temple, although probably using the Samaritan temple at Gerizim as a prototype.  The mosaics are now on display at the recently opened Museum of the Good Samaritan midway between Jerusalem and Jericho.  Here are three photos of the mosaic.







Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Seal of Melchizedek"

A "seal of Melchizedek" mosaic from a Christian church at Khirbet Beit Sila is now on display at the Museum of the Inn of the Good Samaritan.





Trinity Icons at St. Gerasimos Monastery in Palestine

I visited the Monastery of St. Gerasimos (Deir Hajla) a few kilometers east of Jericho today.  It contained a two interesting images of the Trinity.

The first is from the dome over the upper church, showing an anthropomorphic Father enthroned in Heaven, with the Spirit as a dove, and the Son as an infant on the Father's lap.




The second shows an anthropomorphic Father on the right, the Son on the left, and the Spirit as a dove in the middle with a halo.  The Father has a triangular halo.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More on Palestinian Temple Non-Denial Denial

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=119649

The book mentioned here, Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem's Sacred Esplanade, is apparently out now, but I haven't seen a copy yet.


Unfortunately, the article garbles all sorts of things.  

Jerusalem Syndrome?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tabernacle Reconstruction at Timna

At Timna National Park in southern Israel a full scale reconstruction of the biblical Tabernacle has been built.

http://www.bibleplaces.com/tabernacle.htm

Here are some photographs I took at the site.

http://picasaweb.google.com/HamblinWJ/TimnaTabernacleReconstruction#