Photos Now Allowed At Egyptian Museum

January 30, 2016

I note in Todd Bolen’s BiblePlaces Blog that photography “is once again permitted in the Egyptian Museum with purchase of a camera ticket.” The Egyptian Museum is located at Cairo, and for many years photos have not been permitted. See here. 

I was able to visit the museum in 2003 when photos were permissible.

King Tut's Funerary Mask. Egyptian Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

King Tut’s Funerary Mask. Egyptian Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (ruled c. 1332–1323 BC in the conventional chronology), during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom. He is colloquially referred to as King Tut. His original name, Tutankhaten, means “Living Image of Aten”, while Tutankhamun means “Living Image of Amun”. In hieroglyphs, the name Tutankhamun was typically written Amen-tut-ankh, because of a scribal custom that placed a divine name at the beginning of a phrase to show appropriate reverence. He is possibly also the Nibhurrereya of the Amarna letters, and likely the 18th dynasty king Rathotis who, according to Manetho, an ancient historian, had reigned for nine years—a figure that conforms with Flavius Josephus’s version of Manetho’s Epitome.
The 1922 discovery by Howard Carter and George Herbert of Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb received worldwide press coverage. It sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt, for which Tutankhamun’s mask, now in the Egyptian Museum, remains the popular symbol. Exhibits of artifacts from his tomb have toured the world. In February 2010, the results of DNA tests confirmed that he was the son of Akhenaten (mummy KV55) and Akhenaten’s sister and wife (mummy KV35YL), whose name is unknown but whose remains are positively identified as “The Younger Lady” mummy found in KV35. The “mysterious” deaths of a few of those who excavated Tutankhamun’s tomb has been popularly attributed to the curse of the pharaohs. (Wikipedia).

See my previous posts re: the Egyptian Museum here and here. Additionally I have a post on the Valley of the Kings where Tut’s tomb was found. Click here.

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Passing of Harry Pickup, Jr.

January 28, 2016

Joshua described his approaching death with the words, “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth” (Josh. 23:14). In context, he was encouraging Israel to be faithful to their covenant with the Lord: “And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed” (ibid.).

Another of God’s servants has gone the way of all the earth: Harry Pickup, Jr., of Temple Terrace, Florida, at the age of 91. A faithful gospel preacher, and also for many years in public relations with Florida College, he was an encourager to many.

Harry Pickup, Jr.

In the fall of ’69 Mr. Pickup came to my high school (Corner, in Jefferson Co., AL), to recruit me for Florida College. I had not heard of the college, nor had I previously met Mr. Pickup. My preacher, Pryde Hinton, had mentioned me to him. He came by to see me a second and a third time. I already had determined to be a gospel preacher, and he discussed the ways that Florida College could help me prepare for that work. I attended the Jan. ’70 FC annual lectureship with friends Bob and Sandra Waldron (their 10th class reunion), and by the time we were headed back to north Alabama, I had made the decision to enroll that fall ’70.

That decision impacted my life for good in so many ways. The good men there that influenced me; the tools with which they equipped me to work–I will always be thankful. I’ve told bro. Pickup I was so grateful for his interest in me and encouragement. It was always pleasant to see him from time to time down through the years. The last time we talked was after the untimely death of his son Marty (2013). He has a special place in my heart.

You can hear some of his lessons at sites such as http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/audio/irving_tx/

He has a chapter in the book, Letters to Young Preachers, edited by Warren Berkley and Mark Roberts.

Shane Scott noted:

Each summer he would pay for several younger preachers to come and hear a panel of teachers speak for a few days, delving into a wide array of biblical topics. Though the subjects were frequently controversial, brother Pickup created an environment in which issues could be discussed openly, with cheerful fervor. His commitment to truth and to service converged beautifully in Pickup University. And his great sense of humor was reflected in the initials of this “school,” PU! (http://focusmagazine.org/harry-pickup-jr.php)

As King David said, “”Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?” (2 Sam. 3:38). Goodbye for now, Dear Friend.


Paul Landed at Syracuse

January 20, 2016

In the book of Acts we read of Paul’s route from Caesarea, Israel, to Rome, as a prisoner, with the trip’s various stops along the way. As they journeyed in the Mediterranean there was a shipwreck which resulted in their staying for the winter at the island of Malta. Then Luke, who was on that journey with Paul continues, “After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island. And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days” (Acts 28:11-12).

Syracuse is mentioned in the NT only as having been a harbour where St. Paul lay at anchor for three days on his voyage from Malta to Rome. The shipwrecked crew and passengers, after spending three months in Malta, set sail on the Dioscuri, evidently one of the Alexandrian fleet of imperial transports carrying grain from Egypt to maintain the food supply in Rome.† They started, evidently, very early in the year, probably in February, before the settled weather and the customary season for navigation (mare clausum 11 Nov. to 5 March) had begun. That implies that a suitable and seemingly steady wind was blowing, which tempted them to embark, and carried them straight to Syracuse, a distance of about 100 miles. On the voyage from Malta to Rome as a whole, see RHEGIUM.

Nothing is said with regard to any preaching by St. Paul in Syracuse, nor could any be expected to occur. The ship was certainly waiting for a suitable wind to carry it north to the straits of Messina; and under such circumstances no prisoner was likely to be allowed leave of absence, as the ship must be ready to take instant advantage of the wind (Ramsay, W. M. (1911–1912). SYRACUSE. In J. Hastings, J. A. Selbie, A. B. Davidson, S. R. Driver, & H. B. Swete (Eds.), A Dictionary of the Bible: Dealing with Its Language, Literature, and Contents Including the Biblical Theology (Vol. 4, p. 645). New York; Edinburgh: Charles Scribner’s Sons; T. & T. Clark.)

Sicily is noted for its rich history (Greek, Roman and more), culture, theater & amphitheater, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. But my special interest in it has to do with its being included among biblical sites!

Siracusa Theater Greg and Carlo_Picogna

At Greek Theater at Syracuse. Greg Picogna (r) with his father Carlo (now deceased). Photo taken in 1998.

Also at Syracuse you can view the Fountain of Diana.

At Syracuse, Fountain of Diana, goddess of the hunt. Photo supplied by Greg Picogna.

At Syracuse, Fountain of Diana, goddess of the hunt. Photo supplied by Greg Picogna.

Giulio Moschetti (1847-1909) created this fountain in Syracuse; it portrays Diana, the mythical goddess of the hunt, in all of her calm and pride.

Another famous site in Syracuse is the “Ear of Dionysus” (Italian Orecchio di Dionisio). It was most likely formed out of an old limestone quarry. It is 75.5 feet high and extends 213 feet back into the cliff. Because of its shape this unusual formation has extremely good acoustics, making even a small sound reverberate throughout the cave.

Ear of Dionysius at Syracuse. Photo supplied by Greg Picogna.

Ear of Dionysius at Syracuse. Photo supplied by Greg Picogna.

I’m looking forward to seeing these sites at Syracuse, along with other locations in Sicily and Italy, with my tour group coming up in March.


Sde Amudim in Lower Galilee

January 6, 2016

Jesus’ second miracle recorded by John (4:46-54) was that of His healing a royal official’s son. The official came to Jesus at Cana of Galilee, asking Jesus to go to his home Capernaum to heal his son who was “at the point of death” (v.47). Jesus’ response: “Go your way; your son lives: (v.50). When the official returned home the next day (distance from Cana to Capernaum is ca. 20 miles), he learned that his son had recovered the exact hour on the previous day when Jesus spoke the word.

Such miracles show who Jesus is (see John 20:30-31). Because He is God, Jesus did not have to be physically at Capernaum to heal the sick boy. He has power not only over sickness, but over distance!

In New Testament times (and somewhat previously), an important road connected the coastal city of Ptolemais with Cana, which then passed through Sde Amudim (Khirbet Umm el-Amud), then on to Magdala and f to Capernaum. It is likely that the royal official of our text would have traveled this route, passing through the area pictured here.

Sde Amudim in lower Galilee looking toward Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Sde Amudim in lower Galilee looking east toward Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

 

Here at this site are the remains of a synagogue (dates to AD 3rd century).

Synagogue at Sde Amudim. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Synagogue at Sde Amudim. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Interestingly, this location serves as a watershed.  In this photo we look north. The Bet Netofa Valley drains to the west (to your left); the drainage to your right is east going down to the Sea of Galilee at Magdala.

Watershed at Sde Amudim. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Watershed at Sde Amudim. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Click images for larger view.