December 15, 2017
Beth Guvrin in Israel was a Roman city on the outskirts of biblical Maresha (see Josh. 15:44; Micah 1:15).
Emperor Septimus Severus turned Beth Guvrin into a major administrative center (ca. 200 AD). I took this photo of the amphitheater on April 27, 2017.
Panorama of amphitheater at Beth Guvrin. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
This amphitheater would have been used for animal and gladiator fights.
BTW: Often folks refer to theaters as “amphitheaters.” There is a difference: the amphitheater makes an oval shape while a theater only makes a half circle.
Click image for larger view.
December 13, 2017
The Apostle John wrote, “And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps” (Revelation 14:2). I heard this harpist playing her harp in Jerusalem, at the Damascus gate this past April.
Harpist in Jerusalem, Joppa Gate. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
The context of Revelation 14 is that of the Lamb standing victoriously on Mount Zion with His people, those “having His Father’s name written on their foreheads” (v.1). What joy belongs to those described in the text! — “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” (v.4).
Click image for larger view.
December 8, 2017
In this panoramic shot of Jerusalem you can see several landmarks, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at left, the Dome of the Rock, right center, and the Mount of Olives in the Distance.
Panorama of Jerusalem. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
It would be difficult to overestimate or overstate the importance of this city in both Old and New Testament studies!
I have numerous posts on Jerusalem, including here, here and here. Use the search box for more.
I took this photo this past April, 2017, on a personal study/photography trip with Ferrell Jenkins.
December 6, 2017
Acts 10 narrates the exciting history of how the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles. The Apostle Peter was directed to leave Joppa and go up the coast to Caesarea where he would find a man with an honest and good heart, Cornelius the Roman Centurion, as well as his relatives and close friends.
Wave action at Caesarea, on the south side of the Herodian Palace. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
Peter, who had the “keys of the kingdom of heaven,” had preached to the Jews first on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and was then privileged to preach to the Gentiles in Acts 10. Peter began by saying, “Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34-35, NASB). Cornelius and those present heard “words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14, CSB). They were receptive to and obedient to the faith!
From this new beginning the gospel would go on to include Gentiles in Antioch (Acts 11), and on to the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8; cf. Acts 13-28, etc.).
We have several posts on Caesarea, including here, here, and here.