360 Degree Virtual Visits to Israel (and 2D Virtual Dead Sea Scrolls)

Via William Hamblin, I learned of the 360 degree panoramic virtual visits to Israel and many other places that are available online. You can visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or experience a narrow shopping street in Old Jerusalem. I highly recommend it! It may put you in the mood to check out the [Read More...]

Peace for Palestine: A Serious and a Humorous Perspective

On the serious side, the leaders of the Christian churches in the Holy Land have issued a communiqué (via Dănuţ Mănăstireanu): Looking ahead to the upcoming General Assembly of the United Nations this September 2011 and the bid for Palestinian statehood, the Heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem feel the need to intensify our prayers [Read More...]

Jerusalem and the Holy Land: A Spectacular Aerial Journey

Thanks to Stephen Cook for pointing out this video, which is just a sample of a 3D IMAX movie that is scheduled for release in 2013. Even, or perhaps especially, having just been to many of these places very recently, I can say that this video provides a unique perspective from above. The view is [Read More...]

Blogging Israel Round-Up

For those friends and family who missed my series of posts about my trip to Israel while I was there, here’s a round-up of the posts from the trip: Tel AvivFrom Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to Bethlehem and HebronThe Old City of JerusalemQuote of the Day (Jerome Murphy-O’Connor)The Dead SeaLast Full Day in JerusalemOn the [Read More...]

Thom Stark on Biblical Polytheism

Thom Stark has posted a piece, responding to Michael Heiser, discussing a couple of key texts in the Bible that seem to reflect earlier pre-monotheistic beliefs of the Israelites. I was hunting around over the past few days for exactly the same sorts of texts he cites and refers to as background and comparative materials, [Read More...]

Ben Gurion Airport

Anyone traveling to Israel hears stories about prolonged searches. If you expect them on arrival, you may think you have had it lucky, breezing through the process. But it is on departure that such extensive searches are typical. I discovered that having a jar of date preserves will get you sent into a separate line, [Read More...]

Blogging Israel with an iPad

Although getting access to the Internet while in Israel was not always straightforward, that was largely a result of my decision to not go overboard with the 3G option. While I had it, it seemed to work fine, and the key will presumably be to get a larger data refill right away and then be [Read More...]

Archaeological Puzzles: Can You Identify These Objects?

A question for anyone interested, but in particular those of you with some archaeological experience: What do you think this might be? It is the same object from three different angles. What about this one? Or this one, which I assume are three pieces of one archaeological “puzzle”? [Read more...]

Blessed are Those who do not Vandalize Ancient Tombs

Today’s touring and exploring started at the Mount of Beatitudes. The beatitudes are, as typically in Christian tradition, presented in the Matthean version around the church and site, and so the contrast between Luke’s “Blessed are you who are poor” and the relatively rich site is not felt as strongly as it might be. We [Read More...]

To Galilee by way of Armageddon

I was excited when I saw that the route to Tiberias, and to Afula where I would be meeting Eldad Keynan who kindly agreed to show me around the Galilee, was by way of Megiddo, even though not all services stop there. The bus took me straight through the plain of Megiddo. It seems more [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Jerome Murphy-O’Connor)

“One expects the central shrine of Christendom to stand out in majestic isolation, but anonymous buildings cling to it like barnacles. One looks for numinous light, but it is dark and cramped. One hopes for peace, but the ear is assailed by a cacophony of warring chants. One desires holiness, only to encounter a jealous [Read More...]


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