Paris is known as the City of Light. From the roof of our hotel in the St. Michel area we could see some of the significant monuments. This photo, made without tripod, shows the Eiffel Tower. I think the building to the left is the Hotel des Invalides which among other things is the burial site of Napoleon Bonaparte. The building to the right is St. Germain des Prés. In the opposite direction from the hotel we had a nice view of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Paris at Night. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
We were able to spend two of our Paris days in the Louvre. This museum displays excellent collections of archaeological artifacts from Mesopotamia, Persia (Iran), the Levant (Syria, Jordan, some sites of the current West Bank), Greece, and Rome. There is an Egyptian collection, but I do not find it as satisfactory as the other collections.
The Louvre is always closed on Tuesday and certain rooms may be closed on other days, or a half day. Years ago I learned to have two or three days in Paris in order to be able to visit all of the galleries I wanted to see. Yes, we saw the Mona Lisa, too.
The lines to get tickets for the Louvre are long. The photo below shows two of the six or more places to buy tickets, in addition to automated machines, under the great pyramid. It is best to buy tickets online or from one of the shops such as the Tourism office near the Opera. Tickets are about $20.00 per person for each day of entry. Those with tickets are able to enter through a short line while long lines wait outside just to get into the building to wait in line to buy tickets. The Museum web site explains about advance tickets under “Plan Your Visit” here.
One of the ticket lines inside the Louvre. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
There were large crowds in the Louvre. Some galleries attract guides with tour groups. It’s fun to watch. The guide is nearly running with an umbrella or flag. The tourists are trying to keep up, but snapping their cameras or cell phones at busts they probably will not be able to identify once they are at home. I saw a young lady making a photo of the Roman Diana. I assume she had been at Disneyland Paris a day or two earlier. She did a nice job of composing her photo. When I saw her later and noted that she was a young teenager I was impressed that she wanted to visit the Louvre.
Euro Disney one day; the Louvre the next day. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
I have been to China, but I think most of the citizens have come to Berlin, Paris, and London to visit the museums.
Photography is permitted in the Louvre. I even made a few shots using flash when I thought it would not damage the artifact. None of the guards seemed to object. Items behind glass always create a problem for photographers. By visiting the museum two days I was able to check the first photos to be sure they were sharp. On the second day I was able to remake some of those that were not good.
Posted in Archaeology, Bible Lands, Bible Places, Bible Study, Culture, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Photography, Travel
Tagged China, Louvre, museums, Paris, The Louvre, West Bank
For the past week my wife and I have been traveling in Europe, revisiting some of the places we have enjoyed with groups over the years. Berlin is one of those places. We did some of the typical sightseeing, but the main visit was the museums with Ancient Near Eastern collections.
My first visit to the Pergamum Museum was about 1978. I returned several times when the Museum was behind the Berlin Wall, and have been there several times since the fall of the wall.
The Egyptian collection formerly was in the west, but now is housed in the Neues Museum in the building on the left of the photo below. Considerable construction is underway in the area. The former entry to the Pergamum Museum is closed. The red sign in the distance points to the temporary entry. Crowds are so large that people wait in line for four hours or more to buy at ticket and gain admission to the Museum. The only way to avoid this is to purchase a ticket online with a 30 minute time span for admission. I purchased a two day Museum pass after I arrived in Berlin and then made an appointment online for two different days. A single entry costs about 13 Euro (a little under $20 per entry).
Crowds waiting in line to enter the Pergamum Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
The Pergamum Altar already has some scaffolding in place. At the end of September the exhibition will close for __________ years (you know about government projects).
The visit was somewhat disappointing because of the appointment requirement, but mostly because portions of the Museum are closed. Whole galleries pertaining to the the Greco-Roman world are not open. The great Ishtar Gate from Babylon is open, and the Miletus Marketgate, which was covered with netting the last time I was in Berlin, is now one of the nicest exhibits. The halls dealing with Babylon, Assyria, and the Hittites were open.
Later I hope to share some representative photos with you, but I confess that I am traveling with a Samsung Tab 4 and have had difficulty getting the single photo above loaded into the blog. I refused to pay the $20+ a day to be online at the hotel. I only ate at one place that offered time online, and they could not locate the card with the passport. :-(
We are in Paris now and I have Wi-Fi at the hotel. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, so I went to the Tourism office and purchased tickets to the museum in order to avoid the long lines the next two days. The tickets here are under $20 per entry.
If any reader has experience in loading photos from an Android tablet into WordPress I would be glad to hear about it. Who knows, maybe I will be able to load a second photo.
Posted in Archaeology, Bible Places, Bible Study, Biblical Studies, Egypt, Greece, Hittites, New Testament, Old Testament, Photography, Travel, Turkey
Tagged Berlin, Louvre, museums, Neues Museum, Pergamum Altar, Pergamum Museum
My friends David and Sharon Runner recently traveled with us in Turkey, but made additional excursions into Greece and Italy. David agreed to share this photo of “The Boxer” from the National Roman Museum in Rome.
“The Boxer” in the National Roman Museum. Photo by David Runner.
David describes the statue: “This famous Greek statue called “The Boxer” dates from around 330 B.C. and depicts an ancient fighter, apparently after a match, still wearing his caestus, a leather wrap used as boxing gloves. The small white objects at the bottom of the statue are motion sensors that chime if you get too close. (I found out a couple of times as I moved in a little too much for some close-up pictures.)”
Below is a closeup of the boxers gloves, showing his “brass knuckles.”
Closeup of the hands of “the Boxer”. Photo by David Runner.
Paul used a boxing illustration to describe his own disciplined work in preaching.
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27 ESV)
John, the writer of the book of Revelation, was “on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 1:9). I am convinced that this was the apostle John. He was there because of (Greek dia, on account of) the word of God. Filson says this could mean either banishment, or banishment to hard labor. He points out that the word of God and witness or testimony are used in Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 “in reference to a persecution situation” (Interpreter’s Dictionary Bible III:677).
The Romans used the island as a penal settlement to which they sent political agitators and others who threatened the peace of the empire (Tacitus Annals 3.68; 4.30; 15.71). According to Eusebius, John was banished to Patmos by the Emperor Domitian, A. D. 95, and released 18 months later under Nerva (HE III.18.1; 20.8-9).
View of the port of Skala from the monastery at Chora. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Patmos is a rocky island off the west coast of Asia Minor in the Aegean Sea, about 37 miles southwest of Miletus. The island is one of the Dodecanese (twelve) or of the Southern Sporades. It is about 10 miles long (N–S) and 6 miles wide at the north end, and consists of about 22 square miles of land area. The island is mountainous and of irregular outline. Some visitors to the island have suggested that the natural scenery “determined some features of the imagery of the Apocalypse” (HDB III:693-94).
Patmos has been a part of Greece since 1947, and may be reached by boat from Piraeus, Samos, Kos, or Rhodes. The ferry from Samos takes about 2 1/2 hours, arriving at the port of Skala. Some cruise ships sail from Kusadasi, Turkey, to Patmos.
On the way from Skala to Chora, the only other town on the island, one passes the Monastery and Cave of the Apocalypse. This site is marked as the traditional place where John received the Revelation.
At Chora, the monastery of St. John the Theologian dominates the island. It was built by a monk called Christodulos (slave of Christ) in A. D. 1088. The monastery library is noted for its manuscripts, but especially for its collection of more than 200 icons. The oldest book in the library is part of a 6th century codex of Mark (Codex Purpureus). The second oldest manuscript is an 8th century A. D. copy of Job.
Bell tower on Monastery of St. John the Theologian at Chora. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Posted in Bible Places, Bible Study, Church History, Greece, New Testament, Photography, Travel
Tagged Apostle John., Book of Revelation, Emperor Domitian, Patmos, Roman Empire
Luke records, in the book of Acts, an important historical event involving Paul during the 18 months he worked at Corinth (Acts 18:12-17).
The photo below, made in May 2012, shows the actual platform or bema mentioned in Acts 18. Popular English versions use the terms tribunal, judgment seat, place of judgment, or judge’s bench.
The Bema at Corinth where Paul stood before Gallio. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
The bema dates to A.D. 44, but could be as early as the time of Augustus (Murphy-O’Connor, St. Paul’s Corinth, 28).
You see that some sort of work was going on around the bema. Notice the rope, the pile of sand, and the bags on the top. I remarked to some of our tour members that we formerly were able to stand on the bema. I feared this might be an end to that practice.
Yesterday I was catching up on some blogs that I enjoy reading. One of those is Gordon Franz’ Life and Land. Gordon was writing about a tour he led earlier this year. One line caught my attention. In telling about the visit to Corinth, Gordon says,
Recently the Bema was repaired and reopened so tourists can walk up and stand where Gallio passed judgment on the Apostle Paul (Acts 18:12-17).
Anyone have a nice photo to share of the bema since the restoration?
Today my friend Leon and I made a 10 hour trip from Istanbul to Iznik, Turkey. Iznik is the name of ancient Nicaea (Nicea) in Bithynia. This is a region of Asia Minor into which Paul was not allowed by the Spirit to travel. Instead, he was directed to go down to Troas where he received the call to come over into Macedonia.
And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. (Acts 16:7-8 ESV
Bithynia is across from Istanbul on the south side of the Sea of Marmara. It is a beautiful mountainous region with valleys filled with olive trees and fruit orchards.
The Epistles of Peter are addressed to saints living in Bithynia, but no specific towns are mentioned (1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 3:1).
The Roman province of Bithynia. BibleAtlas.org.
The modern town of Iznik utilizes the layout of ancient Nicaea. Nicaea was the site of the first and seventh of the ecumenical councils held between 325 and 787 A.D. Hopefully I will be able to write more about these councils and their importance in the history of Christianity at a later time.
For today I wanted to share a photo I made of a little lighthouse in the fresh water Lake Iznik.
Lighthouse in Lake Iznik. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Posted in Bible Lands, Bible Places, Bible Study, Book of Acts, Church History, Greece, New Testament, Photography, Travel, Turkey
Tagged Apostle Paul, Bithynia, Ecumenical Councils, Iznik, Lighthouse, Nicaea
Isaiah 23 is an oracle concerning the famous Phoenician port city of Tyre. The Mediterranean world of Egypt, Tarshish, Cyprus, and the neighboring city of Sidon, would be affected by the fall of Tyre.
More details about the prophecy concerning Tyre are given in Ezekiel 26-28. Nebuchadnezzar is named as one of the kings who will bring about the fall of Tyre. He besieged Tyre for 13 years (585-572 B.C.), immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem. The people of Tyre fled from their mainland city to the island about ½ mile offshore. But Tyre was to be destroyed by many nations. Alexander the Great came to Tyre in 332 B.C. Most of the cities in his path surrendered, but the people of Tyre prepared to resist him. The more powerful Greeks used the debris of the desolate mainland city to build a causeway to the island. Alexander’s army captured the island city in seven months.
Ezekiel says the city “will be built no more” (Ezekiel 26:14). The mainland city has never been rebuilt. From my first visit to Tyre in 1967, I continued to visit the city until 1975, and then again in 2002. Political and military conditions have made it impossible to visit more times.
The diagram below hopefully will help to explain what we have briefly explained here. It was prepared by my friend Steven Sebree of Moonlight Graphic Works for one of my books which is currently out of print.
The mainland city has not been rebuilt since the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (585-572 B.C.). The causeway to the island was built by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.
By 315 B.C. the island city was rebuilt, but was populated by Carians from SW Asia Minor. The present city of Tyre occupied the island and the causeway. The photo below shows a view to the west of a Roman arch built over the causeway built by the Greeks. The island city is visible beyond the arch.
A Roman arch on the causeway built by Alexander the Great. The view is to the west and the modern island city. There is no city on the mainland. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Posted in Bible Places, Bible Study, Greece, New Testament, Old Testament, Photography, Travel
Tagged Alexander the Great, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Lebanon, Nebuchadnezzar, Tyre