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Is Christianity’s Credibility on the Decline?

In response to the question: “What is the biggest struggle facing Christianity today?” (http://www.casadeblundell.com/jonathan/the-biggest-struggle-currently-facing-christianity/) an individual calling himself Mike said this: “The biggest threat to today’s Christianity is Modern History and Modern Science. Every day, both of these disciplines come across more and more information. Unfortunately, a lot of the information gained either discredits Christianity or does nothing to support it. This is the information age. It is getting harder and harder to convince people to have blind faith in anything. Before the Internet, you didn’t really have a choice in the information you were given on a daily basis. You had basically 2 to 3 places where you could accrue knowledge. School, Church, and Work. It was what our parents had, our grandparents had, and so forth. Not so today. The world has gotten to be a very small place. If religion is going to survive, then religion is going to have to get its story straight. The Vatican should allow their artifacts and libraries open for study among outsiders. The most sought after relics of ancient history are that of Christian Origin. If they ever existed, they are out there somewhere. They are possibly rotting away in some wealthy person’s personal art collection. I would say about 95% of the history of Christianity (or any religion for that matter) is in the possession of private collectors completely hidden from Historians and their followers. Who knows what the real impact this may have. It could be Earth shattering or it could be nothing. All I know is that as each day goes by, the more religion will dwindle into the shadows. I want to believe these artifacts are out there and genuine, but I have a heavy part in my heart that tells me, not in my lifetime. Now I apologize if I hurt anyone’s feelings with this, I am only relaying what I have learned over my quest for the truth about Christ and Christianity. Point to the Bible all you want, but until you can define the exact location of the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, The Ark of The Covenant, Christ’s Cup, The Cross He was nailed to, or better yet, ANYTHING with the word “Jesus” written during his lifetime that was not in the Bible, etc, etc, etc. Then it didn’t really happen. It is just a great story much like The Lord of the Rings.”

 

The tragic aspect of Mike’s discourse is that it so closely aligns with the ignorance and arrogance of many of our nation’s leaders.  It is no coincidence that President Obama, during his election campaign, described Americans opposing his candidacy as  “Bitter people clinging to their bibles and their guns.”  It’s only natural that leaders reflect the attitudes of many of the populace, or they would have difficulty getting elected.  (Of course that’s not the only factor involved, or things would often turn out much differently.)

 

Mike’s comments appear to boil down to these three assertions:

  1. There is no historically provable factual basis for the Bible, and specifically for the historical existence of Jesus Christ.
  2. The lack of accessibility of historical artifacts  (because they are held in collections at the Vatican or in private collections, or because they do not exist) makes it impossible to study those artifacts and thereby “prove” the authenticity of biblical events.
  3. The pervasive availability of modern scientific information via the Internet has resulted in a growing body of evidence that the Bible is inaccurate and therefore Christianity is false.

I have no idea who Mike is, and I have no desire to insult him, but I have to admit that this strikes me as some of the most illogical and unintelligent reasoning I have ever seen.

 

First of all, on point number 1, there is voluminous physical evidence for an incredible amount of what the Bible records, including locations of incredible biblical importance.  Today, in the country of Iraq, the cities of Babel and Ur still exist. Nahor, Ninevah, and a myriad of other examples also exist; I’ve seen several of them myself.  ( will place excerpted lists of some of the historical sites described in the Bible at the conclusion of this blog, along with the web site from which they were excerpted.)  Secondly, I have never seen artifacts with the names of most historical figures inscribed on them – from Genghis Kahn to Alexander the Great – but I don’t doubt that they existed.  In the case of Jesus Christ, the most widely known and widely loved historical and spiritual figure the world has ever known, to doubt His very existence – at least His historical existence – is beyond the pale.  Even those of us with a public school education recognize the certainty there.  As to the third point – that the Internet has now made available information that diminishes the validity of biblical claims or the credibility of Christianity, is completely untrue.  While it is true that there are a wealth of things in the Bible that are not well understood – certainly many things that I do not understand – that is no proof that they are untrue.  I don’t understand why gravity exists (and neither does anyone else on Earth), but it does exist.  The Internet has indeed changed forever the volume and breadth of data available to most of the population of our planet.  However, it has done nothing to diminish the veracity of Jesus Christ or of Christianity.  It simply “broadcasts” existing data – much of which truly is inaccurate, and founded upon opinion or speculation – much like our friend Mike’s comment.

 

However, to the overall thesis of Mike’s statement that Christianity is losing credibility, I want to share the following information:  In my blog post entitled “The Bible and the US Constitution”, I point to an article authored by Linda D. Stanley. (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1734108/the_decline_of_church_attendance_in_pg2.html?cat=7)   In it, Stanley observes: “The Gallop Poll reports that Christian Americans are declining in number. The report shows that in the first year of tracking, 1948, 91% of Americans identified themselves as belonging to some form of Christianity. The Gallop report conducted in 2008 showed this number had declined to 77% of Americans who identify themselves as belonging to some sort of Christianity. It appears that the Catholic denominations have remained steady at about 20-23% since the late 1940’s while the Christian sector has declined from high 60% down to a steady stay at 55-57%. It would appear that it is possible that many Americans are moving to other religions that have been popular in other areas. The truth is that this same Gallop poll reports that in 1948 only 2% of Americans reported no religious affiliation while in 2008, 12% of Americans claimed no religious affiliation. It appears that Americans are in fact losing our faith.”

 

On a strictly numerical basis, America is indeed drifting further and further from both the US Constitution and the basis for much of that constitution, the Bible.  That drift is not attributable to greater information volumes or accuracy streaming in from the Internet or any other source.  It is not a function of Christianity being disproven.  It is not the dearth of physical artifacts with the name of Jesus scrawled across them.  It is the natural (and unhealthy) entropy resulting from an increasingly easy and less disciplined life.  It is the (unfortunately) consistent pattern of modern societies as they become increasingly affluent, self-indulgent, and self-centered.  It seems that the more educated we become, the wealthier we become, and the more comfortable we become, the less likely we are to rely upon God who provided all of the blessings we enjoy in the first place.  The results are obvious, and they include declining church attendance, heightened divorce rates, and a myriad of other unsavory phenomena.  The problem facing Christianity is not one of credibility, it is one of commitment on the part of those who claim to be Christians.

 

What do you think?

 

 

Biblically Important Locations in Israel

http://www.immanuel-tours.com/biblical_sites.aspx

 

Armageddon

Known in Hebrew as Megiddo, a giant fortress and city was built here by King Solomon (1 Kings 1 9:15); in the New Testament referred as site of the “final battle”.

Bethsaida

“The House of the Fisherman” – the place where Jesus was active as a preacher and healer. This is the location of the homes of Jesus’ followers, Peter, Philip and Andrew as well as the location where Jesus healed the blind man (Matthew 11:21; Luke10:13; John 1).

Bet She’an

An ancient city with a glorious past. King Saul and his sons, who lost the battle against the Philistines at nearby Mt. Gilboa, were hung from its city walls (Judges 7:4-8). Bet She’an is one of Israel’s most prominent archeological sites, with a major Roman theater, the Roman-Byzantine Cardo (main street), giant columns, mosaics and a yet-to-excavated tel (excavational mound).

Caesarea Philippi (Banias)

Named for the god, Pan, Panias (or Banias in Arabic) was built as Caesarea Philippi by Philip, son of Herod, at one of the sources of the Jordan River. Jesus visited this site together with the Disciples (Mark 8:27; Matthew 16:13-23).

Cana in Galilee

Site of Jesus’ first miracle – the transformation of water into wine at the Wedding Feast (John 2:1-11, 4:46-54).  Site of Cupola dedicated to the messenger, Bartholomew, (Nathaniael) (John 21:2).

Chorazin

An important Jewish town from the time of the Second Temple located north of Capernaum. Chorazin was rebuked by Jesus for its lack of faith (Matthew 11:2; Luke 10:13).

Capernaum

Located on the Sea of Galilee shore, Capernaum was the center of Jesus’ Galilee Ministry. Jesus’ lived here for a substantial period, healing the sick, preaching in the synagogue and performing miracles (Matthew 9:1, 4:13).

Carmel (Mount)

Mount Carmel is associated with the prophets Elijah and Elisha (Kings I 2, 15:4, 25). A Christian holy site based on the story of the Prophet Elijah and the miracles he preformed atop the mountain.

Carmelite monastery at the site of the struggle between the priests of Ba’al and the Prophet Elijah (Kings I 18:14-17),

Dobrath

Know today as Daburiya; a town of Zebulun (Joshua 19:12), where Jesus cures the epileptic boy (Luke 9:37-43).

En-Dor

Near Mount Tabor, home of the medium (witch) of En-Dor (Samuel I 28:7-25).

Galilee (Sea of)

Also known as the Lake of Gennesaret, Lake Tiberias and Lake Kinneret.

 

A comparatively small lake, fed by the River Jordan and lying 600 feet below sea level, where violent storms rush down from surrounding mountains causing very rough water. Here Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea (Matthew 8:26) taught from Peter’s boat (Mark 3:7-9) preformed the miracle of the Multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Luke 5:1-11) calmed the storm (Matthew 8:23-27) and walked on water (Mark 6:45; Matthew 14:22-23). The lake’s northern shore-stretching from Mount Arbel to Hyppos – is known as the Evangelic Arch (Matthew 4:15).

The Sea of Galilee is one of Israel’s four seas and, in addition to being a repository of dozens of Christian holy sites, is a vacation paradise for Israelis and tourists. The largest city on the lake is Tiberias, one of the four holy cities of Judaism, and the beaches and villages surrounding the lake are a haven for tourists. Christian visitors, in addition to visiting the shore-side shrines, sail in fishing boats and tourist launches across the water.

Gilboa (Mount)

Battle of Saul (Samuel I 28: 4).Canticle of David on Saul and Jonathan (Samuel II 1: 17-24).

Hazor

Joshua captures and burns the city (Joshua 11:10-14); Deborah and Barak (Judges 4: 2); rebuilt by Solomon in the tenth century B.C (Kings I 9:15).

Hyppos

Known today as Susita, Hyppos, like Bet She’an, was one of ten Greco-Roman cities known as the Decapolis. Located atop the Golan Heights with a panorama of the Sea of Galilee, this area is mentioned in the Miracle of the Swine (Matthew 5:14). This area may have been one of the world’s first Christian metropolitan communities.

Jezreel Valley

The installation of the Tribes (Judges 1:27-28).

Jordan River

Israel’s most important river, feeding the Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea. Jesus was baptized in the river by John the Baptist near Jericho (Mark 1:9-11). John Bethabara was also baptized here (John 1:28).

Kishon River

River at the foot of Mount Carmel, mentioned in the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:21); “Elijah led them to the river Kishon” (Kings I 18:40).

Kursi

Identified as the site of the Miracle of the Swine (Luke 8:26-33; Mark 5:1; Matthew 8:28-34; Luck:8). Nearby is Tel Hadar, where Jesus succeeded in feeding the 4,000 (Matthew 15:29-34).

Magdala

Known today as Migdal, this was the birthplace and home of Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:1-2) who was the deserted woman who was healed by Jesus and become one of his followers. She was a witness to the resurrection (John 20:1).

The Mount of Beatitudes

The hill at the northwestern point of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-8). With its view toward Capernaum and Tabgha, the hill is shaped with a natural hollow that serves as a natural amphitheater amplifying the speaker’s voice.

Nain (near Mt. Tabor)

The village where Jesus brought back to life “the dead son of the widow” (Luke 8:11-18).

Nazareth

The city of Nazareth is located in the heart of an undulating valley, where Jesus spent his boyhood and lived with Joseph and Mary (Luke1:26-38).

The site of the “Synagogue Church”, where Jesus preached commentaries on the Book of Joshua (Luke 4:16-30) and the Leap of the Lord (Luke 4:29) when Nazarenes attempted to throw Jesus over a cliff.

Sepphoris

Known in Hebrew as Zippori, Sepphoris was a major 2nd /3rd century city that was also home of Joachim and Anna and birthplace of Mary. Here is the Franciscan Church of St. Anna dedicated to the mother of the Virgin Mary (Luke13:32).

Tabhga

Site of the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes, and the post resurrection appearance of Jesus (Mark 6:34-44; Matthew 14:14-21; John 21:15-19; Matthew 16:18-19).

Tabor (Mount)

A prominent hill (mountain) southwest of the Sea of Galilee, with very little foothills. It was at foot of Mount Tabor that Deborah and Barak defeated the forces of Sisera. Mount Tabor is believed to be “the high mountain” which Jesus ascended and, before the eyes of Peter, James and John, underwent the Transfiguration; afterwards he was seen conversing with Moses and the Prophet Elijah (Matthew 17:6-13; Luke 9:28-36; Mark 9:2-8).

Tiberias

A spa town built by Herod Antipas (John: 6:23) to honor Tiberius Caesar. After the fall of Jerusalem it became a center of Jewish learning and is considered one of the four Holy Cities of Judaism.

Abu Ghosh

Here in ancient Kiriat Yearim ,the Ark of the Covenant rested for 20 years before being brought by King David to Jerusalem, 15 miles to the east. Aphek (Antipatris)

Today know as Afek. The Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant at Aphek (Sam I 4:1-11). Paul brought to Antipatris on his way to Caesarea for trial (Acts 23:31). Was built by Herod in honor of his father Antipatris.

Anathoth

Today known as Anata: birthplace of Jeremiah the prophet (Jer: 1:1).

Ashdod

One of the five Philistine cities. Philip the Evangelist baptized an Ethiopian near here (Acts 8:26-40).

Bethel

Meaning, “House of God”. Where Jacob dreamed of “Jacob’s Ladder” (Genesis28:19). The Ark of The Covenant at Bethel (Genesis 31:13, Judges 21:19, Kings I 13:11; King II 2:2). Today, Bethel is a community of 3500, twenty miles north of Jerusalem.

Bet Sahur

A village between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, site of the Shepherds’ Fields of the Nativity account (Luke: 2:8-21).

Bethlehem

Translates as “House of Bread” (Hebrew), “House of Meat” (Arabic). Bethlehem was where Isaac’s beloved wife, Rachel, died giving birth to Benjamin (Genesis 35:18-19, 48:7). Birthplace of King David and site of his anointment by Samuel (Samuel 1 16:1). Birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4). Just south of Bethlehem are the pools of Solomon, that have provided water for Jerusalem for three millennia (Song of Songs 4:12).

Caesarea

Built as Caesarea Maritima by King Herod to honor Augustus Caesar, it was capital of the Roman province of Judea during Jesus’ day, a vast city complete with stadiums, temples, palaces and a giant port built out into the Mediterranean. Caesarea was home of the first gentile convert, Cornelius, a Roman centurion baptized by Peter (Acts 10). Peter and Paul passed through Caesarea, and Paul was imprisoned here for two years until he was brought to Rome. Paul embarks for Tarsus (Acts 9:30), Philip preaches (Acts 8:40).

Dothan

Present-day “Dothan”. Joseph finds his brothers (Genesis 37:14-17).

Elah (Valley of)

Valley Of Elah: David’s contest with Goliath (Samuel I 17). Nearby are the excavations of the Roman-Byzantine city of Bet Guvrin, and Sorek, home of Delilah (Judges 16:4). Unchanged for three thousand years, this location includes the brook where David selected the stone to slay Goliath, still gurgling. Emmaus

Where the resurrected Jesus met Cleopas and Simon and shared a meal with them (Luke 24:13-35). One of the only Biblical sites whose modern-day location is unclear. It may have been a site adjacent to Latrun, midway between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, whose Trappist monastery is built atop what is believed to have been home of the good thief crucified with Jesus, or near today’s Qubeibe, midway between Jerusalem and Ramallah, site of the Emmaus Church.

Ekron

The Ark of the Covenant is placed on a cart and driven to Bet Shemesh (Samuel I 6:16).

Gerizim (Mount) and Ebal (Mount)

Mount Gerizim-mount Ebal: Israel assembles on Gerizim and Ebal (Joshua 8:33).

A blessing on Gerizim, a curse on Ebal (Deuteronomy 11:29-30).

Gezer

“And Solomon built Gezer” (Kings 19:16-17).

Halhul

At 1,020 meters (3,315 feet), the highest village in the Land of Israel. Site of tombs attributed in the Middle Ages to Gad the Seer and Nathan the Prophet (Chronicles II 11:5-12).

Hebron – Kiryat Arba

Hebron, one of the four holy cities of Judaism, was the home of Abraham and where he bought the “Cave of Machpelah in the field of Mamre” as a burial site for his family (Genesis 23:1-12; 25:8-10; 35:27-29; 50:12-14). David was anointed King of Israel in Hebron and reigned here seven years until the capture of Jerusalem (Samuel II 5:1-5).

Herod the great built a towering edifice over the cave, which survives to the present day as a mosque and synagogue, shared by Muslims and Jews, who both venerate the tombs of Abraham and Sara, Isaac and Lea, Jacob and Rebecca.

Jaffa (Joppa)

Traditionally believed to have been founded by Japheth, son of Noa, Jaffa is one of the oldest towns of Israel. Cedars of Lebanon sent by King Hiram of Tyre and destined for Solomon’s Temple were unloaded at Jaffa (Chronicles II 2:15) and Jonah embarked for Tarshish from Jaffa (Jonah 1:3-17). Peter was here, in the home of Simon the tanner where he prophesied the vision of the pure and unpure animals (Acts X 10:5), and where he brought Tabitha back from the dead (Acts 9:36-42).

Jericho

Vies with Damascus as “the oldest city on earth”. First town conquered by the returning children of Israel under Joshua (Joshua 4:5-6). Prophets Elijah and Elisha (Kings II 2:18-22). Near Jericho, the Monastery of St. John (Kasr El-Yahud) recalls the site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

Lod-Lydda

It was here that Peter healed Aeneas.

Samaria – Sebastiye

Founded as capital of Israel by King Omri in 876 BCE (Kings I 16:23-25). Town taken by the Assyrians (King’s II 17:5-6). The prophet, Micah, rejoiced in the Sebastiye’s impending destruction (Micah 1:6). Philip preaches in the city (Acts 8:5). Peter and John come to the city (Acts 8:14).

Sharon (Plain & Valley of Ayalon)

The fertile valley of Sharon (Isaiah: 35:2).  The drive from Tel-Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport to Jerusalem passes through the Plain of Sharon and the Valley of Ayalon, where Joshua bade the sun stand still (Joshua 10:12-13).

Shechem

Present-day Nablus originally Roman Neapolis or Naples, site of the Tomb of Joseph. Abraham passes through, coming from Ur (Genesis 12:6). Agreement between the sons of Jacob and Shechem (Genesis 12: 6-7). Jacob buys a “parcel of land” at Jacob’s Well (Genesis 33:19). Joshua renews the Covenant with God (Joshua 24). Origin of the Samaritans (Kings II 17: 24-41). Jesus and the Samaritan women at Jacob’s Well (John 4:7-11).

JERUSALEM

  • Proclaimed Capital of Israel by David 996 BCE.
  • Site of the First Temple, built by Solomon and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BCE, then rebuilt by Nehemiah 445 BCE.
  • About 40 years before the birth of Jesus, Herod expands and beautifies the Second Temple.
  • Jesus ministry in Jerusalem is marked by miracles at Bethesda and Bethany, clashes with the Pharisees, the triumphal entry to the city during what becomes known as “Palm Sunday,” the “Last Supper” (Passover Seder) on Mount Zion, the night spent in the Garden of Gethsemane, the arrest, trial, condemnation and the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) to Calvary Golgotha.
  • On the northern border of tribe of Judah (Jebusites) (Joshua 15:8).
  • Melchizedek, King of Salem (Genesis 14:18).
  • Conquest by David (Samuel II 5:1-12).
  • Religious and political capital of the kingdom of Israel (Kings I 3:1, 12:41-43) (Kings I 7:1-12) (Samuel II 6:1-23).
  • Jerusalem Psalms: 42-26-134:41-48-84-87-133-134-137-146-147-125-127-95-150-75.
  • Destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BCE (Kings II 25).
  • Rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah (Nehemiah 3).
  • Jesus foretells destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20).
  • Jerusalem represents the Chosen People (Ezekiel 23; Isaiah 62).
  • The Holy City (Nehemiah 11:1).
  • Meeting place of the nations (Isaiah 2:1-5, 60).
  • Vision of the New Jerusalem (Isaiah 54:11-17, 62).
  • The Holy City, the New Jerusalem at the end of time (Revelations 21:2).

Jerusalem – The Holy City for Christians

The New Testament tells the story of Jesus’ frequent visit to Jerusalem including the final fateful week commending with the triumphal entry on what is now Palm Sunday, and the crucifixion and resurrection at what is now Easter.

It was here in Jerusalem that Jesus and the Disciples celebrated the Passover Seder meal atop Mount Zion (the Last Supper). Here is Gethsemane, at the base of the Mount of Olives, Jesus spent the night before his arrest by the Romans. Jesus was tried in Jerusalem by Pontius Pilate and condemned to die on the cross, the standard from of Roman execution. And here Jesus was crucified and hurriedly buried before the onset of the Sabbath. When the family of Jesus returned to the tomb after Sabbath, they discovered it empty… and it was 39 days later, from atop Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, that Jesus is believed to have risen to heaven. In addition to locations related to the life of Jesus, holy sites in Jerusalem are connected with the lives of Mary and the Disciples. It was in Jerusalem that the world’s first Christian community was established.

Jerusalem: The Mount of Olives

  • David leaves Jerusalem trying to flee from Absalom (Samuel II 15:30-32).
  • Solomon builds a palace on the hill near Jerusalem (Kings I 11:7-8).
  • The glory of the Lord stood upon the mountain that is on the east side of the city (Ezekiel 11:23).
  • Jesus enters Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-16).
  • The agony of Jesus in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:30-56).
  • The ascension of Jesus (Luke 24:50, Acts 1:4-12).
  • Jesus prophesies the destruction of the Temple (Mark 13:3).
  • Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, and his Disciples followed… (Luke 22:39).
  • The appearance of Jesus and the fulfillment of the prophecies (Ezekiel 11:23, Zacharias 14:4).
  • The peak of the Mount of Olives from which Jesus rose to heaven (Luke 24:50, 51).
  • The place of ascension Church (Luke 21:37).
  • Pater Noster Church (Eleona).

Jerusalem: Bethphage

  • Palm procession during the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem (Luke 19:29-40; Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; John 12:12-16).
  • At the edge of the Mount of Olives (John 11:1-45).
  • Bethany (Mark 11:1-8) is the site of the miracle of restoring life to Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42).
  • Here are the cave where Lazarus is buried and the Bethphage Church.

Jerusalem: Mount Zion

  • King David’s Tomb.
  • The last Supper (Matthew: 26:26-35; Luke: 22:7-38; Luke: 2:11-47).
  • Pentecost (Acts:2:1-4).
  • Denial of Peter (Mark 14:72; John 18:15-27).

Jerusalem: Mount Moriah (The Temple Mount)

  • Abraham prepares to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:2)
  • David desires to build a house for God (Samuel II 7:1-17).
  • Construction of the Temple of Solomon (Kings I 5, 6).
  • Dedication of the Temple (Kings I: 8).
  • Vision of the prophet Isaiah in the Temple (Isaiah 6: 108).
  • This is the Temple of the Eternal (Jeremiah 7:1-15).
  • The book of the Law found in the Temple (Kings II 22).
  • Destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar (Kings II 25).
  • Vision of the future Temple (Ezekiel 40, 44).
  • The birth and annunciation of John the Baptist (Luke 1: 5-25).
  • Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2: 22-38).
  • Jesus astonishing the rabbis in the Temple (Luke 2: 40-47).
  • Pinnacle of the temple-Temptation of Jesus (Luke 4:9-13).
  • Expulsion of the moneychangers from the Temple (Matt 21:12-17).
  • Jesus teaches (John 7:14-53).

Jerusalem: The Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross)

The mile long route through the Old City of Jerusalem, leading from the Antonia Fortress – where Jesus was condemned by Pontius Pilate, to Golgotha – Calvary hill – the place of the crucifixion. The Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) is marked by 14 Stations, each a chapel or marker depicting an incident in Jesus’ final mortal journey. The traditional site of Golgotha – Calvary is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Some Christian denominations consider the Garden Tomb, outside the current Old City walls, to be the true site of Golgotha – Calvary (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19).

  • 1st Station Antonia Fortress: Pilate condemns Jesus.
  • 2nd Station The Chapel of the Condemnation (Lithostraos): Jesus takes up the cross.
  • 3rd Station Jesus falls under the cross for the first time.
  • 4th Station Jesus meets his mother
  • 5th Station Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross.
  • 6th Station A Jerusalem woman wipes Jesus’ face, and the cloth takes up the image of Jesus’ face. Vera Nika in Greek means “true image”, thus the woman becomes known as “Veronica”.
  • 7th Station Jesus falls for the second time.
  • 8th Station Jesus Consoles the women of Jerusalem.
  • 9th Station Jesus falls for the firth time.
  • 10th Station Jesus is stripped of his garments.
  • 11th Station Jesus is nailed to the cross.
  • 12th Station Jesus expires on the cross.
  • 13th Station Jesus’ body is taken from the cross and washed (the Stone of Unction)
  • 14th Station Jesus’ body is laid in the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
  • The last five Stations are within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Arad 

Site of an ancient tel in the northern Negev. Includes remains from the early Canaanite period (Numbers 21:1, Joshua 12:14).

Beersheba

A southern border city from the biblical period of settlements in Israel. Called Be’er Sheva (seven wells) in memory of the seven wells dug by the servants of Isaac (Genesis 26:33).

The Dead Sea – (Salt Sea):

  • Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 13:10-13, 14, 18,19).

 

 

Iraq’s Biblical Ties

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1424483/posts

 

  • Eden was in Iraq — Genesis 2:10-14.
  • Adam & Eve were created in Iraq — Genesis 2:7-8.
  • Satan made his first recorded appearance in Iraq — Genesis 3:1-6.
  • Nimrod established Babylon & the Tower of Babel was built in Iraq — Genesis 10:8-97 & 11:1-4.
  • The confusion of the languages took place in Iraq — Genesis 11:5-11.
  • Abraham came from a city in Iraq — Genesis 11:31 & Acts 7:2-4.
  • Isaac’s bride came from Iraq — Genesis 24:3-4 &10.
  • Jacob spent 20 years in Iraq — Genesis 27:42-45 & 31:38.
  • The first world Empire was in Iraq — Daniel 1:1-2 & 2:36-38.
  • The greatest revival in history was in a city in Iraq — Jonah 3.
  • The events of the book of Esther took place in Iraq — Esther.
  • The book of Nahum was a prophecy against a city in Iraq — Nahum.
  • The book or Revelation has prophecies against Babylon, which was the old name for the nation of Iraq — Revelation 17 &18.

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