The Martyrium (Memorial Chapel) of Philip at Hierapolis (Turkey)

Hierapolis is mentioned only once in the New Testament (Colossians 4:15) where Paul states that Epaphras was working there and in nearby Laodicea.

Memorial (Pilgrimage) Church Dedicated to Philip

Early Christian tradition states that Philip, along with his daughters, settled at Hierapolis.  It is probable that Philip the Apostle (= disciple of Jesus) is the actual person, although a confused tradition suggests that it was Philip the Evangelist (see his activities in the book of Acts).

Pilgrims’ Path Leading Up to the Martyrium of Philip

Tradition also states that Philip was martyred and buried here at Hierapolis.  On a hill northeast of the city a Martyrium—a memorial that was a focus of pilgrimage—was built in the fifth century AD.  In July 2011, the excavator, Francesco D’Andria announced that he had discovered the very Tomb of Philip in the vicinity.

Recently I have posted 18 high-resolution images of the Martyrium of Philip.  Click Here to view.

$395 or $19.99? The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World for your iPad!

A few weeks ago I was alerted to the fact that the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World was available for the iPad—at $19.99.  This is THE best atlas of its kind and the hard copy edition sells for $395.00!

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Cover of the $395 Hard Cover Edition

Often I have found that many books that I purchased for my iPad, especially Kindle books, are really “clunky” to navigate!  Try sorting through a Kindle version of any Bible Dictionary/Encyclopedia—an exercise in futility!

BUT the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World is DESIGNED for the iPad and I have found it a “joy” to use.  Instead of rewriting all of its features I have reproduced the AppStore’s description of the product.  One item that I really like is that it has a very accessible index—that really takes you to the place on the one or two maps where the place appears (not hundred’s of meaningless citations—as in a typical Kindle product).  The coverage is from the Scotland to Ethiopia to the Indian subcontinent!

Friends, IMHO this is a “no-brainer!”

—-  From the App Store’s Description with my emphasis in bold and color  ——

Hailed by the New York Times as “the best geography of the ancient world ever achieved” and deemed by classicist Bernard Knox to be “an indispensable tool for historians concerned with ancient times” as well as “a source of great pleasure for the amateur,” the unsurpassed Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World is now available in digital form as a full-featured app for the iPad. Including all the content of the $395 print edition of the Barrington Atlas, app makes this essential reference work more portable and affordable than ever before possible.

In 102 interactive [CR: detailed, with Roman roads] color maps, this app re-creates the entire world of the Greeks and Romans from the British Isles to the Indian subcontinent and deep into North Africa. Unrivaled for range, clarity, and detail, these custom-design maps return the modern landscape to its ancient appearance, marking ancient names and features in accordance modern scholarship and archaeological discoveries. Geographically, the maps span the territory of more than seventy-five modern countries. Chronologically, they extend from archaic Greece to the Late Roman Empire.

A must-have for scholars, this app will also appeal to anyone eager to retrace Alexander’s eastward marches, cross Alps with Hannibal, traverse the Eastern Mediterranean with Saint Paul, or ponder the roads, aqueducts, and defense works of the Roman Empire. Designed exclusively for the iPad, the app uses the latest technology and is available iPad 2 and above.

Features:
Carry all the content of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World on your iPad
•Explore and study on the go with interactive color maps and full-screen HD map images–all optimized for Retina Display
•Navigate maps with a finger swipe or tap
•Pinch-zoom up to 800 percent to see all detail
•Find more than 20,000 locations through an interactive gazetteer
Bookmark locations for quick and easy access
•See all maps in proper orientation in both portrait and landscape modes through automatic “True North” rotation
•Look at maps in the same order as the book and move seamlessly between connected map plates without flipping pages
•View ancient borders or overlay modern borders for reference
•Examine maps in detail with an interactive map key
•Access maps through multiple, intuitive pathways provided by an easy-to-use interface
Store all data locally on your iPad–no Wi-Fi or network connection necessary
Technical Specifications:
•Compatible with iPad 2 and above.

•Requires iOS 6.0 or later. •Size: 350 MB
•Rating: Rated 4+

Reviews of print edition:

“[The Barrington Atlas] is the best geography of the ancient world ever achieved. . . . [I]t reveals the world inhabit reached by the Greeks and Romans from 1000 B.C. to A.D. 640 in thrilling detail, and a color code lets us track changes through 16 centuries. The collective learning poured into this project is almost intimidating to contemplate and the fact that it could be completed testifies to extraordinary planning, dedication and courage. . . . [T]he cartography is luminous. . . . [M]agnificent.”

–D.J.R. Bruckner, New York Times Book Review

“The Barrington Atlas is a major contribution to scholarship, extensive in scale, reliable and up to date, and so laid as to be really helpful to the user.”
–Jasper Griffin, New York Review of Books

“Beautifully produced with an exquisite combination of scholarly precision and the highest level of cartographic art, this atlas is one of the greatest achievements in 20th-century Greek and Roman scholarship–and it probably will never be superseded.”
–Publishers Weekly

“This atlas is an indispensable tool for historians concerned with ancient times. But it is also a source of great pleasure for the amateur.”
–Bernard Knox, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Biblical People Confirmed Archaeologically — A Very Useful Tool!

The folk over at Bible History Daily have placed on line a very useful listing: “53 People in the [Hebrew] Bible Confirmed Archaeologically.”  This not only lists their names and relevant biblical passages, but also has a short article on each of the 53 along with where the relevant extra–biblical texts and pictures can be found! This is a very useful listing  for it can be very time consuming to try to find this information elsewhere!!

See a sample entry below.


I have included a photo of the object referred to in the second paragraph of the “Black Obelisk (6 1/2 ft.. high) panel portraying Jehu, the Israelite king, bowing down in submission to Shalmaneser III (from Calah/Nimrund in Iraq)”

Jehu, the Israelite king, bowing in submission Shalmaneser III. From the British Museum.

14. Jehu, king, r. 842/841–815/814, 1 Kings 19:16, etc., in inscriptions of Shalmaneser III. In these, “son” means nothing more than that he is the successor, in this instance, of Omri (Raging Torrent, p. 20 under “Ba’asha . . . ” and p. 26). A long version of Shalmaneser III’s annals on a stone tablet in the outer wall of the city of Aššur refers to Jehu in col. 4, line 11, as “Jehu, son of Omri” (Raging Torrent, p. 28; RIMA 3, p. 54, A.0.102.10, col. 4, line 11; cf. ANET, p. 280, the parallel “fragment of an annalistic text”). Also, on the Kurba’il Statue, lines 29–30 refer to “Jehu, son of Omri” (RIMA 3, p. 60, A.0.102.12, lines 29–30).

In Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk, current scholarship regards the notation over relief B, depicting payment of tribute from Israel, as referring to “Jehu, son of Omri” (Raging Torrent, p. 23; RIMA 3, p. 149, A.0. 102.88), but cf. P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., “‘Yaw, Son of ‘Omri’: A Philological Note on Israelite Chronology,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 216 (1974): pp. 5–7.


Quote from Rasmussen, Carl G. Zondervan Atlas of the Bible — Revised Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010, p. 162.

Cedars of Lebanon

In the Bible, “cedar” is mention 76 times.  This strong, fragrant, long-lasting, prized wood came from the trees that were grown in Lebanon.  Cedar was used for paneling, columns and beams in palace, temples and other elite buildings in the ancient world.  They are slow-growing trees and can reach heights of 120 ft. [35 m.] and circumferences of 36 ft. [10 m.].

Cedar of Lebanon Near Bchareé (Lebanon)

Cedars were used by Solomon in constructing buildings in Jerusalem and indeed, they were used all over the Near East for the construction of large buildings from ancient to relatively recent times.).  For example it is said of Solomon that he “… made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the Shephelah” (1 Kings 10:27).

Grove of Cedar Trees Near Bchareé Lebanon

Today there are only several thousand Cedars of Lebanon in existence.  The cedars pictured here are from a grove in the area of the Lebanese village of Bchareé that is located at an elevation of 6,500 ft. [2,000 m.] in Mount Lebanon.

Twenty thousand hectares [49,000 acres) of the area has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

To view additional images of cedars and a map locating Bchareé Click Here.  Images courtesy of Mark Connally.

New Teaching/Devotional Series

Today (Thursday 19 April) is the last day to register for @WayneStiles’ new website where you can experience virtual tours to Bible lands! Learn more: http://www.walkingthebiblelands.com


Wayne Stiles has initiated a new on–line series of teaching/devotional videos.  The first of three, dealing with “Passion Week” is now available.  Each is about 15 minutes long.

Wayne’s expertise and exegetical skills in relating the Bible and the Land to everyday life are second to none!  The content of the videos is excellent, and they are well–produced and the photography (in the land of the Bible) is splendid!

Samothrace — Seldom Visited by Tourists, BUT Visited by Paul (Acts 16:11)

Samothrace is a Greek Island that lies 25 mi. south of the Greek mainland.  This mountainous island was the home of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods where famous religious ceremonies took place.

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The sacred hall called the Hieron where the mysterious sacred rites took place Click On Image to Enlarge/Download

On Paul’s Second Journey he traveled by ship from Troas (in Asia Minor) to Neapolis (in Europe).  Acts 16:11 notes that the trip took two days

From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.

It is clear that the ship overnighted at Samothrace before continuing on to Neapolis—the port city of Philippi.

There is no indication that Paul ever stepped off the ship, but if he did (which I think is probable), he may have visited the “Sanctuary of the Great Gods.”  Since their rituals were practiced at night, he may have even witnessed—from afar—some of the rites.

Samothrace

It was here that the famous “Winged Victory/Nike of Samothrace” was discovered—the original is now on display in the Louvre in Paris

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An exact copy of the “Winged Victory of Samothrace”
The original is in the Louvre — the above in the museum on Samothrace
Click on Image to Enlarge/Download

On his third journey Paul made the same trip, in the reverse direction, in 5 days (Acts 20:6)—evidently the winds were not as favorable on that trip (in the spring of the year).

To view 18 images, with commentary, of Samothrace Click Here.

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Foundations of a mysterious Cult Building on Samothrace

The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem

The Entrance to the Garden Tomb.

This tomb was discovered in 1867, at which time it was proposed that this was the burial place of Jesus, mainly because of its nearness to what would become known as “Gordon’s Calvary“.  Since that time, some Protestant piety has encouraged this identification, although the wardens of the property (The Garden Tomb Association) stress that it is the resurrection of Jesus, not the issue of finding the exact spot of his burial, that is important.

Inside of the tomb are the partial remains of a burial bench.  Looking at “burial place” #5 (below) The date of the tomb is not certain.

A plan of the interior of the tomb.

The Modern Door into the Tomb.

The Guides at  Garden Tomb stress that it is the resurrection of Jesus, not the issue of finding the exact spot of his burial, that is important.

To visit the official site of the Garden Tomb Association Click Here.

To view, what in my opinion is the best “rolling stone tomb” in Israel Click Here.