Monthly Archives: April 2017

Bethlehem to the Temple

Tonight at church services we watched the first episode of Following the Messiah from Appian Media.

I promised some friends to share a few of my pictures from the same locations, so here they are.

You can also watch the episode by visiting the Appian Media website. There is a link to the video on the first page.

Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem - Birthplace of Jesus - Christmas EveThe Church of the Nativity is an interesting structure as it contains different sections for the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics. They both share sections of the Grotto of the Nativity, a cave that is the traditional location where Jesus was born.

Church of the Nativity - Grotto of the Nativity - Birthplace of Jesus - Bethlehem - Christmas Eve - 14 Point StarOne of the places shown in the video is the traditional spot of the birth of Jesus which is marked with a silver star with fourteen points which represent the generations in the genealogy of Jesus.

So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. (Matthew 1:17 ESV)

The star is shown in the video, but here is a picture that shows the entire star.

Bethlehem Manger, O Little Town, Away in a Manger, Traditional location of mangerJust a few meters away from the traditional birth location is the traditional location of the manger where Jesus was laid. If you look closely you can see a painting behind the screen that shows Jesus laying in a manger.

Mangers were sometimes carved out of natural rock formations, which may have happened for the original. The manger here is made from marble, but of course was constructed much later.

There was a lady with the group of tourists just ahead of us who had a little baby doll that she laid in the manger before praying over it.

Shepherd, Turkey, Hattusha, Hittite CapitalThe video also had a section showing shepherds in the field. This picture is not from Israel, but from Turkey, but does show a shepherd watching part of his flock.

 warning inscription tGentiles, Court of Women, trumpet, SabbathThe narrators talk about Joseph and Mary bringing Jesus to the Temple on the eighth day. They share information while standing on the Roman road that passed under the large arched stairway that is in the middle of this illustration.

The road is damaged from the large stones that were thrown down during the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.

After the video I shared additional information and answered questions that others had. One of the things I shared was about these stones.

One of the stones is shown on the right in the picture above. It has an inscription on it that indicates it is where the priest would stand to blow the trumpet at the start of sabbath each week.

There is a replica of this stone in the place where it ended up on the road after being pushed from the top of the Temple Mount.

We really enjoyed watching the episode, especially as some of us are going to Israel later this year and will see some of the same places.

Steven

Zane Grey Memories

For the past several years I have been slowly collecting the Walter J. Black editions of the Zane Grey books.

Walter J. Black Editions, Zane Grey, Books, WesternsEvery time I would see these books in used book stores they would bring back memories of growing up in ranch country in Kansas. I finally decided to start collecting them as I ran across them. However, I set myself a price limit as I found out that many places overprice them.

There are 75 books in this series and I now have a little more than 50 of them. Someday I plan to start reading them 🙂

The books are in my hallway and I pass them many times a day and when I notice them memories stream back.

In the past couple of months there have been more memories as my thoughts have often turned to Ashland, Kansas where many of my high school friends have been recovering from the large fire. See: Burning Kansas

The memories that come back the most are of my friend Monty who lost his home in the fires. I remember many times that we spent together while growing up and the collection of Zane Grey books that he had in his room. I know at that time Zane Grey was his favorite author. Of course many other memories come back as well of our friendship. I have some great memories of time spent in band as we both played the trombone.

Within the last hour I received news from my Mom that Monty has passed away. He recently was hospitalized for heart trouble and tonight went back to the hospital where he passed away. I am very sad tonight.

Walter J. Black Editions, Zane Grey, Books, WesternsOne of the books that I am looking forward to reading is Raiders of the Spanish Peaks. When I was in Boy Scouts I spent several summers at Spanish Peaks Scout Camp and also climbed one of the Spanish Peaks.

Walter J. Black Editions, Zane Grey, Books, WesternsThe only Zane Grey book that I have read is Riders of the Purple Sage. There is a sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage and it was the most recent one that I have found. Perhaps I should move it up on my to-read list.

I know that I will always associate these books with my friend Monty. They will always bring back wonderful memories.

Steven