June 21, 2011

It is hard to describe just how beautiful Turkey is in May.  The air is crisp, the temp usually in the 70s, the lack of pollution noticeable, the sky Carolina blue, and the flowers and snow capped mountains gorgeous. What’s not to like.   This picture and the next one were taken next to the site of an archaeological dig at Altin Tepe a site that has both an ancient Urartu fortress and a much more recent Byzantine Church ruins with… Read more

June 20, 2011

My elves in Hobbiton have been busy, and so has Peter Jackson.  First of all Evangeline Lilly (aka Kate from LOST fame) has been cast to play a sylvan elf, though Jackson has warned there will be no romantic twist with Legolas (aka Orlando Bloom)— darn!    Secondly the much praised Benedict Cumberbatch  (you have to be good with a name like that) who plays Sherlock Holmes on the new Sherlock series on the BBC, has been cast as…….wait for it……… Read more

June 20, 2011

The little skit by the minions above and the Gobeckli Tepe Temple both raise questions about what it means to be human. Are we all just hunter-gatherers moving through life driven by our urges and needs?   Or are we something much more than that?  What does it really mean to be human?   The Bible suggests that begin created in God’s image provides some sort of answer or clue.   Some scholars have thought being created in the image of God had… Read more

June 19, 2011

When we begin to think of how exactly 20 circles with monoliths weighing tons could have been put in place by ancients in 10,000 B.C.  and then we have a hard look at some of the columns themselves and see what artisans these stone masons were, carving recognizable figures of animals both in three D (way before 3 D glasses 🙂 and in simple relief, the mind begins to boggle. We are not talking here about stick figures painted on… Read more

June 17, 2011

Monasteries tend to be in out of the way and high places, for example check out the monasteries on bluffs in Meteora in Greece.  But Turkey has its own high altitude monastery which gives new meaning to the phrase high church.  Hanging off a high Turkish mountain and far from the madding crowd is the famous Sumela monastery which  Mark and I visited.   Here are two signs which explain the story of this monastery.  Like many such tales, this is… Read more

June 16, 2011

As I said in the previous post, the essence of ancient religion of was priests, temples, and sacrifices. If there is one way I would fault professor Schmidt it is that he is not taking into account the ancient literary evidence about the origins of humanity and its religion.  He is basing everything on archaeology of material remains.    Not merely the Bible but various other ancient sources like the Babylonian Genesis tales have something to say on the matter.  The… Read more

June 15, 2011

High up in the Turkish alps (as I like to call them) is a fortress that hangs above the medium sized town of Bayburt.  The fortress was in fact first built by Romans, but it was recycled and added to by many others thereafter including the Turks.  Today it is simple a museum and a favorite place for the amorous to picnic and for picture takers to have a field day taking pictures of the city below and the mountains… Read more

June 14, 2011

It took a while to get it done, but the beginning of my High Def journey with Jesus through Israel is now out— and the color and clarity is grand.  Don’t just buy the little guide book, buy the DVD.   This is intended as Bible study or Sunday school literature, but it has a variety of possible uses.   It’s fun for family devotions  retreats and youth groups as well.   ENJOY!    I am working on Part Two as we speak. Read more

June 14, 2011

In eastern Turkey about eight miles northeast of the city of Shanli-Urfa  ( aka ancient Edessa) is a high place.  The Bible has a lot to say about high places, and Gobeckli Tepe (which means pot-bellied hill) is one of them.  On a clear day, like the day I was there, you can see a hundred miles in most any direction from the top of Gobeckli.   Here are two pictures to give you a sense of the elevation of… Read more

June 13, 2011

In the age of wonder when Stephen Spielberg was weaving his magic, there were a whole series of sci fi thrillers which became classics almost instantly— including of course E.T. and Closer Encounters of the Third Kind. These movies were almost instant classics because there was a sense of wonder to them,  the aliens were approachable— shoot they were even lonely and wanted to phone home, and the kids who liked the aliens stole the show of course.   These were not… Read more

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