Turkey 2016–Part Three– The Big Dig

Sometimes archaeology is just a matter of pure luck. Take for instance the case of the discovery of the wrecks of numerous ancient ships near Istanbul. It was all over the news. and rightly so. But the dig in progress was for the new tunnel under the Bosphorous providing another way to get from the European to the Asian side of Istanbul, not to mention a new subway station.What to do about this find? Well, they weren't going to build a new museum in that spot since they were already … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part Two–It’s a Small World— Miniaturk Style

There is a one to 25 scale replica park in Istanbul called the Miniaturk Park, presumably for families and especially those who can't afford to travel and see the sites in Turkey. It's a fun place, and in fact it's the only place you are going to find several sites of Biblical import--- for example the temple of Artemis (of which only one column still remains in Ephesus), or the tomb of Mausolus (from which we get the word mausoleum). The park has been open for some years now, but I had never … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016– Part One, The Chora Church

The word Chora in Greek means 'country' and once upon a time the Chora Church in Istanbul, now a museum, was out on the country. This church is the source of various of the famous iconic mosaic images you see of Christ Pantokrator, rather than Hagia Sophia. It has been under repair for some time, and I arrived on May 22 to discover it even more under repair, both outside and in. Here is what the outside now looks like----And sadly, the tourist industry in Turkey has taken a huge hit from … [Read more...]

Jim Caviezel’s Testimony– The Man who Played Jesus in the ‘Passion of the Christ’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ejaw0F8-sY … [Read more...]

John Grisham’s Rogue Lawyer

Having already read the prequel to Rogue Lawyer (352 pages released last October), namely the short story Partners on Kindle last month, I have now consumed Rogue Lawyer whilst riding on the plane to and from Atlanta to Istanbul and back again. As usual, they are both easy reads. But they are dealing with the complex subject of the relationship between ethics and legality. The Law is one thing, what is moral is another. Sometimes there are laws that by any reasonable or Biblical standards … [Read more...]

Praise for “Southern Discomfort”

Southern Discomfort Ben Witherington IIISouthern Discomfort chronicles the trials and tribulation of Masey Bumgarner, recently widowed, who returns from her summer vacation to discover that her town, Pineville, North Carolina, has decided to pave a four-lane highway through her front yard . . . without her permission or even sufficient advance notice. After consultation with her pastor, she decides to contest the location of this project in court. Along the way, her lawyer and his detective … [Read more...]

Weird Al as Grammar Police—- Word Crimes

One of the sad parts of teaching graduate students, is though many are bright, only a few can write well (by which I do not mean only a few can write the word 'well'). So Weird Al's now famous video 'Word Crimes' is mandatory viewing in my view.... BW3https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eL3x5dHMLA … [Read more...]

Lyle Mays— The Neglected Star

Of the now some five Lyle Mays solo lps, the first two which emerged in 1986 and 1988, and now have been reissued, tell an important tale of just how big a contribution Lyle made to the real early peak of the Pat Metheny Group (think Still Life Talking, Offramp, Letter from Home, etc.).The first of these lps, which is simply self-titled has an all star cast of musicians on it including Alex Acuna and the great Bill Frisell on guitar (see especially the track Ascent). The production on … [Read more...]

Gary Hoag’s Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and 1 Timothy— The Issue of Wealth

Q12.BEN: It seems obvious enough that the Pastorals do call leaders and others to both good service of their fellow Christians, and to not be greedy. You give us various examples from Xenophon and elsewhere about how people sought the priesthood of Artemis for material gain, and I don’t doubt that. For the wealthy that was not always a primary motive, they were more looking for honor and publicity, and performing ‘liturgies’ to increase their honor rating. But there is another side to the Greco … [Read more...]