Aug 3, 2018

Machaerus, the Mishnah, and the Second Temple

I recently had the opportunity to meet Professor Gyozo Vörös, the director of the Hungarian Academy of Arts excavations at Machaerus. We were not able to talk long but I was very interested in their work at Machaerus. Apparently much work has been done since I visited in 2007. Below is one fairly recent article on a recent find and its implications for understanding the second temple in Jerusalem.
"The monumental miqweh that has recently been unearthed at the Herodian hill fortress of Machaerus is an important addition to the corpus of this type of installation. Several of its features are true to type – its general form with a stairway leading down to the bottom, which extends across its entire width, the plaster coating and even the associated storage tank which is known from other miqwa'ot, although was fairly uncommon for the period. However, the stairway stands out on account of its resemblance to the staircase that led up to the Sanctuary of Herod’s Temple from the Court of the Priests, the detailed form of which is known only from tractate Middot of the Mishnah. Both stairways comprise twelve steps, arranged in groups of three, separated by deeper intermediate landings. Such ‘interrupted’ flights of stairs are characteristic of the late Second Temple Period and in different contexts: miqwa'ot, thoroughfares, Herod’s Temple and tomb complexes, as has been pointed out.
"The new finding at Machaerus demonstrates the remarkable accuracy of detail about the Temple that can be gleaned from the Mishnah. Many scholars have questioned the reliability of tractate Middot as a source of information on this edifice, on the grounds that it is not contemporaneous, only being codified in the 3rd century CE, but here we clearly see an example of its trustworthiness, provided that it is used critically."
David M. Jacobson, “A New Discovery at Machaerus Shines Light on Herod's Temple,” Revue Biblique 124 (2017), 583.

Aug 2, 2018

Writing a Thank You Note

Here is a helpful post on writing thank you notes. There are many contexts in ministry where such notes are appropriate. Unfortunately, it seems that many have forgotten this skill.

Aug 1, 2018

Free Logos Book for August: Joshua: Two Horizons Commentary

The free Logos Book for the Month for August is Gordon McConville's and Stephen Williams' commentary on Joshua from The Two Horizons Commentary series. You can also purchase the volumes on 1 Peter and Lamentations in the same series for $1.99 and $4.99 respectively. There is also a contest to win the 15 volume Pillar New Testament Commentary series. For all these offers, go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

Jul 31, 2018

Da Vinci's To Do List

One underappreciated and underemphasized quality of good preachers and teachers is curiosity.  So I found this article on Leonardo Da Vinci's to do list from the fifteenth century quite interesting.

Jul 30, 2018

Free Biblical, Theological, and Ministerial Online Classes

Tavis Bohlinger has posted an outstanding list of online courses here.

Jul 29, 2018

Defacing Statues in Antiquity

Roger Pearse has an interesting post on defaced statues in antiquity here.