Butler University Israel/Palestine Trip 2016 Video

My son made the above video presentation about the trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan this summer. I hope you enjoy it! [Read more…]

Back Home in Indianapolis

After multiple weeks of travel, I am back home in Indianapolis. But I will continue to blog about the various places I visited, books I read while traveling, conversations I had while conferencing, and much else related to these travels. Other than my failure to comment as often as I normally try to, how has [Read More…]

Gaming in Ancient Israel

The Israel Antiquities Authority has an interesting piece on their website about ancient games, some of which have survived down to the present day not only in the Middle East but beyond, such as Mancala!   [Read more…]

Penn Libraries Holy Land Collection

I learned not long ago about the Penn Libraries Holy Land Collection. Here’s the address, so that you can explore it further: http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/holyland/index.html [Read more…]

Gethseminary

For some reason, just as I was waking up one morning some weeks ago, I had the mash-up between “Gethsemane” and “seminary” that is the title of this post pop into my head. And then I read a piece in the Chronicle about the educational power of discomfort. It was not specifically about seminaries, but about the [Read More…]

Church of the Beatitudes (No Guns, Please)

I was really struck by the juxtaposition of two signs on the site of the Church of the Beatitudes:   “Blessed are the Peacemakers” is one of the beatitudes. Most of the people who visit the site are Christian pilgrims. Isn’t it jarring – even to gun-loving American Christians – that visitors to the site [Read More…]

The Pilate Stone

Here is a photo of me next to a replica of the Pilate Stone, in the place where the inscription was found, Caesarea. Sites like this are also important for the way they give a different picture of Herod the Great that is crucial for those whose impression of him is shaped wholly by his [Read More…]

Old Jaffa

Almost everyone made it to Israel and one last straggler will be here soon. We visited Joppa before going to our hotel in Tel Aviv. Joppa is known to many from Jonah and Acts in the Bible, and/or from the story of Andromeda in Greek myth.   [Read more…]

Off to the Holy Land!

I am departing for a short-term study abroad experience in Israel and the West Bank that I am leading, for students at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary. There are blog posts scheduled all through the trip and so even if there are problems with getting access to wi-fi, things should still feel pretty normal [Read More…]

Carta Jerusalem Atlases

I am very grateful that Carta Jerusalem sent me several of their atlases to review: In The Master’s Steps: The Gospels in the Land, Jerusalem: City of the Great King, and Understanding the Jewish World from Roman to Byzantine Times. I suspect that anyone who is interested in the Bible owns an atlas if not [Read More…]