Pilgrims in Cappadocia

December 18, 2012

1&2 Peter were written to Christians (likely Jewish) scattered across five Roman Provinces: “To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Pet. 1:1). All of these provinces were in what is today Turkey.

The landscape of Cappadocia is fascinating. Ancient volcanic matter covered the area. When wind and rain eroded away the softer elements, the harder material was left behind, causing some really unusual formations.

Formations characteristic of Cappadocia. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Formations characteristic of Cappadocia. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

So when you pick up your New Testament to read the epistles of Peter, remember that some of his readers lived in this area.

Cappadocia. In NT times, a Roman Province. Currently in Turkey. BibleAtlas.com

Cappadocia. In NT times, a Roman Province. Currently in Turkey. BibleAtlas.com

Click images for larger view.

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“Woe Unto Thee, Chorazin!”

December 5, 2012

In Matt. 11:21, Jesus said,

Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Chorazin was located just to the north of the Sea of Galilee. Note that it is spelled Korazin on our map:

Location of Chorazin, city condemned by Jesus. BibleAtlas.Org.

Location of Chorazin, city condemned by Jesus. BibleAtlas.Org.

One fascinating aspect of Jesus’ denunciation of Chorazin is that this was one of the Galilean cities in which he had done most of His mighty (miraculous) works. As the previous verse words it,

Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: (Matt. 11:20).

While we read of many miracles Jesus did in Capernaum, and only one in Bethsaida (the two other cities cited and condemned in our context), we read of none being done in Chorazin. This does not mean something in lacking in the Bible; to the contrary, we have all we need. But it does show there was divine selectivity in that which was recorded (cf. John 20:30-31 for this same principle as stated in regard to the Gospel of John).

The site identified as Chorazin is located 2 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. The ruins that are seen post-date the time of Jesus.

Entrance Sign at Chorazin. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Entrance Sign at Chorazin. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Here are the remains of the basalt synagogue at Chorazin,

Basalt synagogue at Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Basalt synagogue at Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Click on images for larger view. 


New Resource: The Big Picture

December 4, 2012

Ferrell Jenkins reviews and recommends a new resource, The Big Picture: A Guide to Learning the Bible’s Story, by Marc Hinds. You may read that review here, including ordering instructions.

I received my copy in yesterday’s mail, and would like to also give my recommendation. This book will be a great resource for beginners as well as for those needing to see the unity and connectivity of the Scriptures.  Marc is a careful student, and capable preacher/teacher.

From Sept. through early Nov., in about an 8 week period, we conducted 6 meetings in several states and Canada. Then on Nov. 12 I had a total knee replacement, with subsequent complications that required more surgery. But things seem to be leveling off now. That has hindered my ability to post on this blog, but we hope to be more regular now. Thanks for your patience.