Monthly Archives: September 2007

Are you the 10,000th visitor?

This little blog was begun in May to post some information on our Ancient Crossroad tour. It is sort of amazing how many people have taken a look since that time. Scroll down on the right to the Blog Stats. If you are number 10,000 leave a comment so I will know who you are. Tell me how you got to the page. On purpose; randomly checking blogs, etc. Thanks.

Today is Yom Kippur

Today is Yom Kuppur, the Day of Atonement, for those who follow the Mosaic system. Information may be found in Leviticus 16 (NET Bible) in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). If you would like to read a modern Jewish description of the day read Judaism 101.

Christians who follow the New Testament believe that the Mosaic system has been removed and superseded by the gospel of Christ. Various New Testament writers have spoken on these matters. Here are a few significant references: Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:11-14; 2 Corinthians 3. Three entire New Testament epistles are devoted to discussions of the subject: Romans, Galatians, Hebrews. Hebrews 9:22-28 indicates that the offering of Christ is a one-time event, and sufficient to cover the sins of man.

Notice a few comments.

Hebrews 10:1-4 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (NASB).

Contrast this with the great proclamation of John the Baptist in the Gospel of John 1:29: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”

Last year Todd Bolen posted a blog, with photos, of some residents of Jerusalem who “In the absence of a temple and the blood sacrifices that provide atonement for sins, some Jews today observe a sacrificial ceremony with a chicken.” You can find the full post here. I learned of a similar annual practice (not associated with Judaism) on a visit to Nepal a few years ago. Didn’t work before; won’t work now.

Return to the “New World”

This morning we will be leaving for the Edinburgh Airport to take our flight back to the United States. We have had a good group, and the tour has been enjoyable.

This is the 71st tour we have conducted, and that fairly well corresponds to my age. Most of our tours have been to the Bible Lands, but we always enjoy these more leisurely tours, too.

Thanks to each of you who have written a short note regarding the blog. It has been a pleasure to work on these pictures each evening.

Our last full day in Edinburgh was a free one for tour members to visit whatever they wanted to. Everyone seemed to enjoy that. The weather was great, and was able to make some photos of Edinburgh Castle with the sun shining on it. So, I will share this last photo before departure with you. Please pray for our safety.

Edinburgh Castle. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Reformation and Restoration in Scotland

For those with an interest in Church History, Scotland provides many links. Scotland was influenced by the work of both Martin Luther and John Calvin, who were already advancing the Reformation principles in the early part of the 1500s. Sixteenth century Scottish leaders, who began their work a few years later, included George Wishart and John Knox.

Those of us with a background in the Restoration Movement in America find ourselves in agreement with many of the principles of the Reformation, but not with all of them. Thomas and Alexander Campbell came to America from Northern Ireland. In that area the people “were predominantly Anglo-Scottish in blood and Protestant in religion” (West). Thomas Campbell came to America in 1807. In 1808, when Alexander set out for America he was shipwrecked on the rugged shores of Scotland. Alexander entered Glasgow University where his father has studied earlier. He studied Greek, Logic, and Experimental Philosophy. He came in contact with several independent movements and was especially influenced by James and Robert Haldane. John Glas and Robert Sandeman influenced the young Campbell also. Their churches were congregational in government with a plurality of elders and deacons. They rejected human creeds, advocated weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper. See West, The Search for the Ancient Order, I:36-52.

In America, Barton W. Stone and the Campbells rejected the Calvinistic doctrines of inherited depravity, the direct operation of the Holy Spirit, etc. They determined that the New Testament was the standard of authority for Christians, and that baptism for forgiveness of sins is immersion. Infants did not need to be baptized because they are not sinners.

Writings of some of the Restoration leaders are available online at the Restoration Movement Page.

King James VI (James Stuart) of Scotland was King of Scots, King of England, and King of Ireland. He “authorized” the translation of the Bible that we still know as the King James Bible (1611). King James was born in Edinburgh Castle. The finished product was largely the work of William Tyndale whose New Testament was printed in 1525. His work on the Old Testament was completed by Miles Coverdale and the entire English Bible was first printed in 1535. Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake in 1536. A nice time line on the Reformation can be studied at the Friends of Tyndale page.

Prior to the work of Tyndale in Scotland, Martin Luther was pushing the Reformation in Germany. Zwingli was at work in eastern Switzerland., and John Calvin was working with Theodore Beze in Geneva, Switzerland.

This beautiful and sunny morning I visited the John Knox house in Edinburgh. It is a house dating to the time of Knox and has been sparsely furnished in period furniture. It serves as a museum of the work of Knox. There are several printed volumes (including the Geneva Bible) of the time on display. The Knox house is located on the Royal Mile.

John Knox House, Edinburgh, Scotland.

This modern scribe, sitting at a table in the Knox house, is thinking about correcting some of the Calvinistic ideas advanced by Knox.

Modern Scribe in the John Knox House in Edinburgh.

I believe these men failed in some regards, but I am grateful for the work they did to bring us this far. To paraphrase the words of Bernard of Clairvaux, “If we can see further it is because we are standing on the shoulders of giants.”

“Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.” – The Apostle Paul, Philippians 3:15-17.

Visiting Edinburgh

This morning we did the typical sightseeing of Edinburgh. This included Princes Street , the Royal Mile, a visit to St. Giles Cathedral, and the mighty Edinburgh Castle. St. Giles was built as a Roman Catholic church in about A.D. 1124. John Knox began preaching at St. Giles in 1559. Of course, by that time it was a church of the Reformation. Knox had been a friend of Wishart. After spending some time in Geneva with John Calvin he returned to Edinburgh. He is considered the father of the Socttish Reformation. This photo shows the crown of St. Giles, a dominant feature of the Edinburgh skyline.

St. Giles, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

There is a nice statue of John Knox in the building. The most impressive thing about the Reformation is that it pointed men to the Scriptures, rather than to the authority of Rome. Notice that Knox is holding the Bible in one hand and pointing to it with the other. With this we are certainly in agreement.

John Knox in St. Giles. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Some parts of the massive Edinburgh Castle date to the 12th century. The photo below is of the 15th century palace where Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to James VI, later to become King James I of England. He is the King James of the King James Version of the Bible (the “authorized” version) of 1611.

Edinburgh Castle. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The afternoon was free of planned activity so that the tour members could spend time as they wished. Elizabeth and I visited the National Galleries of Scotland to see a special exhibition of Andy Warhol stuff. The front of the building was decorated with Campbell Soup cans. Someone we love works for Campbell Soup so we wanted to get a photo for him. His initials are very similar to mine! It was cold and windy today, and the sky was drab. I must confess to enhancing the sky a bit (lot).

National Galleries of Scotland, Warhol Exhibition. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

After seeing the Warhol Exhibition I decided to try my hand at such tomfoolery. I thought about placing a Dr. Pepper on a table, but decided against it.

From the Highlands to the Lowlands

We left Inverness about 8 a.m. this morning headed south for Edinburgh. I began to notice road signs pointing to Elgin. This was the birth place of the late New Testament scholar, F. F. Bruce (1910-1990). He taught at Edinburgh, Leeds, Sheffield, and closed his academic career as Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester. I have been greatly helped by the writings of Bruce, and was delighted to have the opportunity to meet him at a professional meeting in 1975. He was very gracious to an insignificant young teacher, and I have since appreciated that meeting.

F. F. Bruce and Ferrell Jenkins in 1975.

Elgin, Scotland, has a nice web page with a list of Famous Children. Alexander Graham Bell is listed among the famous from Elgin. (Poor guy never had to drive in front of a teenage girl with a cell (mobile  here) phone to her ear!). But F. F. Bruce, author of more than 30 books, is not listed among the Famous Children. Perhaps that will be corrected.

By the time we reached the area around Balmoral, summer residence of Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family, the weather was very cold and windy. About the time we stopped at a ski lift snow flakes began to fall. The workers in the restaurant said it was the first snow of the season. Here is a photo I took. What appears to be white strips are actually snow flakes that were falling close to the camera.

Snow in the area of Balmoral. Sept. 17, 2007. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Because the Queen is at Balmoral we were not permitted to visit the estate. We did visit the Presbyterian church where the Queen, head of the Church of England, attends when she is in Scotland. Not enough time to tell you about this. If you saw The Queen, staring Helen Mirren, you saw scenes typical of this region. Here is a photo of our coach coming over a one lane bridge.

Coach coming over bridge near Balmoral. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Heather is in abundance on the hills of the Highlands. Here is a close up.

Heather near Balmoral. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

After lunch in Braemor we continued to St. Andrews, famous to all golfers as the birthplace of golf. We made a group photo here. The 18th hole is to the left.

Best of Scotland Group Led by Ferrell Jenkins.

St. Andrews is home to one of the oldest universities. One of the blogs I read regularly is PaleoJudaica, a weblog by Jim Davila of St. Andrews University. St. Andrews has an important place in the Reformation Movement. John Knox preached here. At least four leaders of the Reformation, including Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart, were martyred in St. Andrews. I suspect that not many people who visit the Old Course know that the monument on the hill overlooking the course is a Martyrs Monument.

Martyrs Monument at St. Andrews. The Old Course in the distance. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This golfer was having a little problem with the rough. That’s the North Sea in the distance. We had sun most of the time while here, but the wind was high and cold.

In the Rough at St. Andrews. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

We arrived in Edinburgh by 6:30 p.m. after an eventful day of beautiful scenery and unusual weather.

A cold, but enjoyable weekend in Inverness

Yesterday was Saturday, the Sabbath, the day of rest of the ancient Israelites (Ex. 20:8).. Today is Sunday, the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10; Acts 20:7). This day commemorates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians of New Testament times gathered on this day to worship the Lord.

To a Floridian it has been cold here in Inverness, Scotland. Yesterday morning it was about 44 degrees. The forecast for this morning is 42, with a high of 50 for the day. The rain and wind makes it even colder in the northeast of Scotland. It is not raining at the moment and the wind is calm.

Yesterday we went to a famous battlefield nearby called Culloden. Here in 1746 the Jacobites (those who favored the kings named James) were defeated by the Government Army. This was the last battle fought on British soil.

Culloden Battlefield, Inverness, Scotland. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Later we made the perfunctory stop at a woolen mill. Actually, many of the folks on the tour enjoy this. It gives them a chance to pick up a souvenir. Not everyone is looking at the clothing, as this picture of Herbert shows.

Gold at the Woolen Mill

The weather was much better today. It was still cold, but the wind was calm even during periods of showers. Tim and Ann Byers, now living in Aberdeen, came to worship with us. It was a pleasure to see them. Both had been among my students at Florida College. Tim is now on work assignment in Scotland. He has produced a computer program called Everyone’s Guide to the Bible. I suggest you look into this good program. The web site is http://christianfriendssoftware.com. Here is a photo of Tim and Ann that I made this morning. They joined us for the afternoon sightseeing and we had a good visit.

Tim and Ann in Scotland.

In the afternoon we went a few miles from Inverness to the Spreyside Heather center where we enjoyed a nice lunch. They even had jewelry made from heather. After that we continued to Cairngorm Mountains and took the funicular railway to near the top. The highest peak of the mountain, the highest in the UK, is 4,296 feet above sea level. Haze covered the top of the mountain, but we enjoyed the train ride and a cup of hot chocolate at the restaurant. There were some neat displays at the Spreyside Heather center. I suspect this one below illustrates the danger of Scotch Whiskey.

Scotch Whiskey. Display at the Spreyside Heather Center. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Our hotel in Inverness is situated directly across from the Inverness Castle. It is a fairly new construction that serves as the town center (city hall, etc.). The river in the foreground is the Ness River. It flows east from Loch Ness to the North Sea.

Inverness Castle. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tomorrow we leave early for St. Andrews and Edinburgh. Thanks for dropping by.