July 28, 2016

Here’s another helpful post by my friend Larry Hurtado…… See what you think— BW3 “The Paul Dialogue”: Barclay & Wright Yesterday 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 (Eerdmans,… Read more

July 27, 2016

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… Read more

July 26, 2016

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… Read more

July 25, 2016

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… Read more

July 24, 2016

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… Read more

July 23, 2016

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… Read more

July 22, 2016

We are now in the middle of blockbuster season, and the third episode in the Star Trek reboot is upon us, for another two hours of rockem’ sockem’ sci fi, courtesy of Justin Lin, the director of the Fast and Furious series. This episode tries to take us back to the days of the humor of the original Star Trek, with the witty character development and dialogue, but Lin is unfortunately far too anxious to get to the next fight… Read more

July 22, 2016

I’ve deliberately saved the most important posts for last, the posts about the most ancient high place or religious site/sanctuary yet found on earth, dating to about 9.600 B.C. and so a Neolithic site. I am referring to the dig outside of the town of Urfa at Gobeckli Tepe, which I’ve blogged about before, so this is an update on the dig there…..Here’s an orienting map. Here’s the view from this high place…. This very area is where agriculture, the… Read more

July 21, 2016

One of our last stops before going into port at Marmaris (a truly touristic town, where apparently even Jesus has a shop)….. is the ancient city of Kaunos. Here is the sign at the site….. Kaunos was once a port city but as with Ephesus and other such cities, the harbor silted up….. We did not visit the high fortifications at Kaunos see here… Rather we toured the ancient theater….. here’s the vomitorium or exit ramp for the actors… One… Read more

July 20, 2016

Among the various surprising things on the island of Kos is the Hippocratic Institute, where doctors and others meet who are interested in the pursuit of the goals of good medicine. Hippocrates and Galen were the two most famous ‘founders of medicine’ in antiquity, and Hippocrates in particular took a more passive, let the body heal itself approach, with the motto ‘do no harm’. Here’s a bust of the man himself found in the museum at the Institute…. Here is… Read more

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