Bourne— Again is always difficult to maintain the quality of a series of movies that are filmed over a rather long period of time. It is especially hard when you get to the point of filming a fourth or fifth film in the series. So I went to see this two hour long movie with somewhat low expectations, having read various reviews and watched the trailers (see above). It's always nice to be surprised in a good way, and I can tell you I was surprised. First of … [Read more...]

Life’s a Beach

It's now official. I have visited beaches all over the world from the northern to the southern hemisphere, and from east to west in North America. And from Singapore to Sydney, from Hong Kong to Hawaii, and the winner of the best beach in the world is pictured in this post--- Cherry Grove Beach in North Myrtle Beach S.C. Why is it the best beach you ask? Well, of course because God made it that way, but to give less theological reasons: 1) the Gulf Stream warms the water to a wonderful 70 … [Read more...]

This One Takes the Cake—- The Story of the Probable Forgery of the Jesus’ Wife Papyrus

READ THIS--- This is a story even Dan Brown couldn't make up. … [Read more...]

The Barclay-Wright Dialogue

Here's another helpful post by my friend Larry Hurtado...... See what you think--- BW3“The Paul Dialogue”: Barclay & WrightYesterday was the day-long dialogue on the Apostle Paul between John Barclay (Durham) and N. T. Wright (St. Andrews) held under the auspices of our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins. Both of these scholars have recently published major works on Paul’s thought, and each has reviewed the other’s work in journals: John Barclay, Paul and the Gift (Eerdma … [Read more...]

Coins and Early Christianity….

Here's an interesting recent post by my friend Larry Hurtado on Christian graffiti on pagan coins...I was contacted a couple of weeks ago now to comment on a Roman-era coin recently acquired that exhibited marks indicative of Christian graffiti. This introduced me to something that I hadn't known about before. The coin in question is a large (ca. 42 mm) copper-alloy piece minted in the reign of Elagabalus (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, 188-217 CE). On the side showing a profile portrait of … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 32— Urfa Mosaic Museum

There are a few more items to note from the new Urfa museum and then a few to note from the separate new mosaics museum in Urfa. Firstly, here is a nice depiction of a Roman funeral procession heading to the necropolis.... And here is the sort of Roman who would have been in such a cortege.... Here is a statue of Nike, the goddess of victory from the NT era.... This is a bust from Syria, with a Syrian inscription. Note the woman's headdress....Having been to the Zeugma museum, anything … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016 Part 31— Gobeckli Tepe III

The new museum in Urfa is mind-blowing. It is big, it is beautiful and it is full of things from Gobeckli Tepe.....There are helpful re-creations in this museum of the Gobeckli site, for example.....This drawing helps us picture the building of the site..... Perhaps the most remarkable find of recent vintage is the totem pole...... The totem clearly enough has a human figure at the bottom, appearing to be making some sort of clay vessel, then perhaps another human figure in the … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 30– Gobeckli Tepe III

In some ways, it is as instructive to examine some of the newest dig sites, for example this one where you see a head of a monolithic column standing up, as is true at one of the squares on this site, both on the back side of the hill.... Some of these columns are highly decorated, some less so.... most have creatures on them and a few have humans or deities.... There is rather clear evidence this was a sacrificial site, for example note the holes in this column used to tether a large animal … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016– Part 29– Gobeckli Tepe II

Snuggled in between the Tigris and the Euphrates (as was the garden of Eden according to Genesis), is Gobeckli Tepe, which means pot-bellied hill. Today the site is mostly under roof for protection, with the current roof being temporary.... it is difficult to get at, or see a lot of the standing monoliths, frankly. This was not the case when I first visited this site some years ago. The radiometry studies show some 20 circles to be excavated, but in 20 years, only five or so of them have … [Read more...]