Follow the exciting journey of the Ark of the Covenant from where it was made in Sinai to its final resting place in Solomon’s Temple.
The wonderful story of the Wanderings of the Ark of the Covenant has fascinated Bible readers for generations. It is one of the most exciting events recorded by man and vividly described in the Bible. The authors offer a wide-ranging and possible scenario with the region as a backdrop, by combining original photographs, interpretive full-color drawings, and reconstructions based on archaeological evidence together with contemporary finds. A rich source of reference, this handy volume provides a fount of knowledge accumulated over time for the enjoyment of the reader. Scholars, teachers and students may use it as a stepping stone for further reading and research.
Follow Nehemiah on his night journey around the walls of Jerusalem
Temporarily out of stock
This book is out of stock – do not order, please! In this guide we are first immersed in the historical background to the time of Nehemiah. Then, in an imaginative reconstruction, one of the builders of the wall describes for us some of the moving events of those stirring times. The primary focus of the book, however, is a detailed archaeological tour of Nehemiah’s Jerusalem.
See what the city looked like in the time of Christ
Walk the streets of Jerusalem at a momentous time in its history. The result of many years of study and research, this important teaching aid combines text, photographs and reconstructions to present a lucid picture of the archaeology of Jerusalem, the remains of its former glory that survived and can still be seen today.
Explore the ritual of the Temple against the background of the first century
Based on the ancient sources and Alfred Edersheim’s classic work on the Temple services, this is one of our most popular books. Following the detailed description of the Temple platform, the buildings and the interior of the Temple, are chapters on the priestly functions, the service in the Temple on weekdays and the Sabbath and on holy days. A special chapter deals with the Jewish calendar and festivals as they were celebrated in the days of Christ. Finally, there are the authors’ thoughts on the eternal hope of rebuilding the Temple.
The definitive work on the Temple Mount
With this magnificently unique volume, Leen Ritmeyer provides us with the ideal textbook from which to understand the development of the man-made plateau that is the focus of the world’s interest. His experience as architect of the Temple Mount Excavations following the Six-Day War, coupled with his exploration of parts of the mount now completely out of bounds and his doctoral research into the problems of the Temple Mount make him singularly qualified for the task. Illustrator of the book as well as its author, his reconstruction drawings make the stones of the Temple Mount cast off the mantle of time and leap to vibrant life. Truly comprehensive in scope, the book commences with the period in which the Temple Mount reached its zenith, that of King Herod the Great. Here, the author masterfully weaves together an incredible amount of archaeological data with the historical sources to produce an authoritative and exhaustive reconstruction. Then, with the features of the Herodian Temple Mount well in mind, the reader is equipped to progress to the next stage in the research, the quest for the earlier square Temple Mount, described by Josephus and the Mishnah. The theories of other researchers are fairly examined and evaluated and the search progresses like the best detective story. Clues are turned up by the author’s sharp eye to provide compelling evidence that all the previous proposals must be rewritten. The accumulation of evidence, both archaeological and literary, gathers force to solve Jerusalem’s oldest archaeological controversy, namely the actual location of the temple, from the time of Solomon onwards. A completely unforeseen result was the discovery of the original emplacement of the Ark of the Covenant on the rocky floor of what can be identified as the Holy of Holies. This work distils the history of three millennia and thirty years of intensive research into the definitive book on the Temple Mount. Scholars, students and all lovers of Jerusalem – make room on your bookshelves for a book you will refer to time and again!
Discover the hidden secrets of Solomon’s Temple and King Herod’s expansion of the Temple Mount
Published by the Biblical Archaeology Society, this edition brings the best-selling “Secrets” book up to date with the latest research on the Temple Mount. Still concise, still affordable, it now contains new chapters on why we can rely on the description in Middot to describe the structure of Herod’s Temple and a look at how model making can help us to understand what Solomon’s Temple looked like. A unique feature of this new book is a tour of the Temple Mount guided by King Herod the Great.
A poster of Alec Garrard’s model of the Temple and the Courts around it
This poster depicts the façade of the Temple of Herod the Great including the Court of the Women, as depicted in a model built by Alec Garrard in Suffolk, U.K. The model was ten years in the making and is based on the historical sources and the research up to 1993 of Leen Ritmeyer.
Jerusalem as it was known in the time of Christ.
Open up the world of Jerusalem in the first century A.D. This reconstruction drawing of the city is based on the known archaeological elements and the historical sources. Locations depicted include Herod’s Temple Mount, the Pool of Siloam and the Pools of Bethesda. Possible sites for the location of the Praetorium (the Judgment Hall) and Golgotha are also shown. The poster also comes with its own leaflet which details a route around the city of the time of Jesus, along with 36 points of reference.
The settlement where the Essene community lived, who preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls
This reconstruction drawing is now used in the latest books and CD on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It depicts the settlement of Qumran where the scrolls are believed to have been written. A key allows you to pinpoint vital features such as the Scriptorium, the Refectory and the Defence Tower. A helpful resource when studying the Dead Sea Scrolls, the greatest archaeological discovery of this century.
The Palaces from which Herod enjoyed views over the Dead Sea
This reconstruction drawing of the Northern Palace of King Herod the Great shows the retreat prepared by the king at Masada in the Judean Desert. The drawing is based on the latest excavation reports from the fabled desert dig. It comes with a leaflet which provides the full architectural description and dramatic historical background to this extraordinary hanging palace. A useful visual point of reference for study of the turbulent period of the First Century A.D.
The all-time-classic reconstruction of Herod’s Temple Mount
This is the original Ritmeyer Archaeological Design reconstruction of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period (as published in Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov./Dec. ’89, pp. 24,25). An accompanying explanatory leaflet deals with 23 points shown on the drawing of the magnificent complex built by Herod the Great.
A lavishly illustrated PowerPoint presentation, guiding you around the Temple Mount using Alec Garrard’s beautiful model
Here we explore the world of the Second Temple through Alec Garrard’s breathtakingly beautiful model, built to a scale of 1:100. Garrard’s model, which was ten years in the making, is based on the historical sources and research up to 1993 of Leen Ritmeyer. The slides include stunning overviews of the entire Temple Mount and details such as the Court of the Priests, where the animals were prepared for sacrifice, the Golden Vine at the entrance to the Temple and the Eastern Gate. Scenes from the Bible are also brought to life with the help of strategically placed figures made to scale.
Use this PowerPoint presentation to explore and to teach about the ritual of the Temple
Here we have an evocation of the Temple ritual based on the classic work of Alfred Edersheim, “The Temple, its Ministry and Services as they were at the time of Christ.” We follow his unrolling of the first century scene from a first view of Jerusalem to the offering of firstfruits in the Temple. Recently constructed models of Herod’s Temple Mount and that of the temple itself appear in scenes such as The Blessing of the Priests and a portrayal of the twelve-year old Jesus on the Temple terrace at Passover. Artistic representations such as the High Priest in his garments “for glory and for beauty” and drawings specially made for this presentation, such as the procession of torch-bearing priests checking that all was ready for the day’s service, bring the period vibrantly alive. Charts such as an enumeration of the main offerings and a calendar of Jewish feasts are a special feature of this presentation and help make the subject of the ritual of the Temple, which may seem daunting, much more accessible.
Study history in the round. This model allows you to view the Temple Mount in your living-room – a great tool to learn about the layout of the Temple.
This magnificent model of the Temple built in Jerusalem in the first century has been crafted exclusively for Ritmeyer Archaeological Design. The historical sources and the excavations around the Temple Mount which followed the Six Day War formed the basis for its design. It supersedes other models of the subject in that it also includes the most up-to-the-minute research on the ancient Temple Mount by Dr. Leen Ritmeyer. The internationally acclaimed firm, York Modelmakers, have handcast King Herod’s masterpiece in high quality resin. Measuring 11.5″x7″x1.75″, the model is sufficiently detailed to show features such as the Beautiful Gate which led into the Temple Court, the Soreg, or partition wall and the outline of the pre-Herodian Temple Mount. Each feature is handpainted in the soft, glowing colours of the Jerusalem palette. The model rests on an attractive base which bears a small title plaque and the total weight is just under 2 kilos or approx. 4 pounds. This model will enhance your living-room, desktop and many other settings. Its convenient size makes it an ideal learning tool for small study groups around a table. An explanatory leaflet gives the full background to the turbulent period in which the Second Temple was constructed and describes each detail in the model. A much larger scale model of Herod’s Temple Mount in Jerusalem, measuring approximately 6 by 4 feet (1.87 by 1.17 m.), was commissioned by the late Ben Adelman, former Chairman of the American Friends of the Israel Exploration Society. It was designed by R.A.D. and made by York Modelmakers in the UK and has been exhibited in various centers in the US. In 2006 it was acquired by the Yeshiva University Museum in New York, together with models of Solomon’s Temple and of the Tabernacle which were also commissioned by Mr. Adelman.
Walk around the Temple Mount, see the many archaeological remains of Herod’s Temple Mount and visualize what this magnificent complex looked like in the time of Christ
This presentation shows what the Temple Mount would have looked like in the time of Christ, about two thousand years ago. First of all, the most prominent archaeological remains of the Temple Mount are shown. Many of these features were discovered during the Temple Mount Excavations, which were led by the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar from 1968-’78. Other parts of the Temple Mount were studied independently by ourselves. Then, with the help of a model, which was constructed in the 1990′s according to our design, we try visualize what the magnificent complex looked like before it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The Temple itself is the subject of Vol. 5 in this series, Worship and Ritual in Herod’s Temple.
This presentation allows you to explore the history of Solomon’s Temple and the archaeological methods which were used to pinpoint its original location on Mount Moriah and even where the Ark of the Covenant once stood.
In this presentation we begin by looking at the Biblical background of Solomon’s Temple. Abraham was the first to build an altar on Mount Moriah, followed by King David. In searching for the location of Solomon’s Temple, it was necessary to understand the historical development of the Temple Mount from the time of King Solomon to that of King Herod the Great. Information contained in ancient Jewish sources could then be used to suggest a location for the Holy of Holies. The study of the Rock inside the Dome of the Rock, which is actually the top of Mount Moriah, has resulted in the discovery of the foundation trenches of Solomon’s Temple. In addition to this, a depression in the Rock has been pinpointed as the very spot prepared by Solomon for the emplacement of the Ark of the Covenant. Photographs of a stunningly beautiful model help us visualize what Solomon’s Temple once looked like.
With this presentation, you can explore the streets of the city that Jesus and his disciples knew and gain a better understanding of the events of the Gospels, especially The Way to Golgotha, which is depicted here for the first time in clear graphic form
Here the focus is on the city that Jesus knew, with new drawings having been made in order to assist in opening a door to this historical world. Shown for the first time in this PowerPoint is a reconstruction of a small aedicule depicting the snake god of healing, Asclepius, found at the Pools of Bethesda. This find movingly reminds us how appropriate it was for Jesus to heal the paralytic man at this pagan healing centre, decisively refuting the claims of the serpent god. Our classic reconstruction drawing “Jerusalem in 30 A.D.”, which originally took 3 weeks to make, has been used as a base on which to create a ground-breaking series of slides showing The Way to Golgotha. Each of these five slides shows a stage in Christ’s last journey, beginning at Gethsemane and culminating at either of the two sites identified as the place of the empty tomb. Other locations depicted include the Pool of Siloam (including the latest discoveries), the Essenes Gate, the Praetorium and Solomon’s Porch on the Temple Mount. Each picture is accompanied by a fully descriptive caption, with Bible references, allowing you to resurrect the place and period and to see for yourself how firmly the Gospels are rooted in the actuality of Jerusalem.
This presentation makes it possible to follow the Ark’s dramatic progress from Mount Sinai to the Promised Land
Pictures of a model of the Tabernacle, designed by Dr. Leen Ritmeyer, have been included to help viewers understand the place of the Ark in the symbolism of God’s desert sanctuary. Specially created maps of its journey to the Promised Land and wanderings among the Philistines make it possible to follow this dramatic story. There are unique reconstruction drawings of scenes such as the Camp of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai and evocative photographs of the desert scenes through which the Ark passed. The view of Moses from Mount Nebo is contrasted with that of Balaam, the mad prophet, from the very same spot. A rare photograph of the River Jordan in flood serves to demonstrate the faith of the two spies who crossed it before the Ark could lead the Israelites into their inheritance. Excavation photographs and diagrams show that the walls of Jericho really did fall down! Once Jerusalem is reached, the cities of David and Solomon, which were so closely involved with the Ark’s stay, are explored both in photographs and graphics. The account of the travels of the Ark ends with the installation of this holiest of objects in the Holy of Holies of the Temple and a discussion as to its possible location today.
The journey began in the Land of Goshen where the Israelites lived and took them to Sinai, where, at the foot of Mount Horeb, the Tabernacle was made and the tribes organized themselves according to a divinely prescribed order. After having spent 40 years in the wilderness they reached the Plains of Moab, ready to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land.
We are told that it was eleven days journey from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea (Deut. 1.2). It would be a mistake however to assume that they went there directly, as that part of the journey appears to have taken almost a year (Deut. 2.14). This delay accords well with a detour over to the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba necessitated by a verse in Deuteronomy 1.1, which has Moses speaking to the children of Israel, “in the plain opposite Suph (the Red Sea), between Paran, Tophel, Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.” Dizahab is almost universally identified with the present-day Dahab on the east coast of the Sinai peninsula, about forty seven miles or seventy five km from Mount Sinai (see Slide 24). From here, they would have journeyed inland to Hazeroth, where they stayed for at least seven days, the period for which Miriam was shut out of the camp with leprosy (Num. 12.15). Their journey then brought them to Kadesh Barnea. They had now reached the border of the Promised Land and twelve spies (one for each tribe) were sent to report on conditions there. Because of the lack of faith evident in their report, despite the encouragement of Joshua and Caleb, they were prevented from entering the Land and left to wander in the desert for the next thirty-eight years. Towards the end of their wanderings, they appear from the itinerary in Numbers 33, to have returned to Kadesh via Ezion Geber, present-day Eilat, at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Moses requested permission from the King of Edom to pass by the Kings Highway but was refused. They then passed on to Mount Hor, where Aaron was buried. The route then goes from Mount Hor to Zalmonah, Punon, Oboth, Ije-Abarim in the border of Moab, Dibon-Gad, Almon-diblathaim, and to the mountains of Abarim before Nebo, where Moses died in the plains of Moab by the Jordan near Jericho.
With the stern jagged granite peak from which God spoke as its backdrop, the four-sided camp, with the Tabernacle in its center, stood on the plain in the divinely prescribed order. Each side of the encampment was shared by three tribes under the standard of the leading tribe for that group.
Judah, Issachar and Zebulon camped on the east side under the standard of Judah. Reuben, Simeon and Gad were on the south side under the standard of Reuben. On the west side were Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin under the standard of Ephraim, while on the north were the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphthali under the standard of Dan. Inside this sea of tents was a narrow line of tents that belonged to the priestly families. On the east were those of Moses and Aaron, while on the south, was the family of Kohath. The family of Gershon encamped on the west, while the family of Merari had their row of tents in the north. All these surrounded the Tabernacle, the movable sanctuary over which rested a pillar of cloud that shaded the entire camp from the intense desert sun (Ps. 105.39). During the year-long stay under Mount Horeb, the Israelites were transformed from a shapeless mass of people into a nation whose progress through the desert was prescribed down to the minutest detail and whose discipline would be the envy of the sternest military commander. From a scene such as this, the Ark commenced its wanderings.
The Bible presents a vivid picture of the final encampment of the Israelites outside the land that had been promised them. Here, in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, we can almost see the lines of tents standing around the Tabernacle in this comparatively lush corner of the river valley.
It is the last of the forty-five stations enumerated in Numbers 33 (vs. 48,49). The sites of Abel Shittim and Beth Jesimoth would have been located here at either end of this well irrigated stretch of plain bordering the east bank of the Jordan. This dramatic view of the Israelites poised for the long awaited entry to the Promised Land formed part of the panorama seen first by Balaam, and shortly afterwards by Moses, from the lofty mountain tops above. The distance of 2,000 cubits (0.61 km.) that the Israelites were commanded to leave between themselves and the Ark ensured that it could be clearly seen. As soon as the feet of the priests that carried the Ark touched the waters of the Jordan, the river “stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan” (Josh. 3.16). Zaretan was obviously a well-known landmark and Tell es-Saidiyeh, an imposing mound in the centre of the Rift Valley has been tentatively proposed as the site of this Biblical city. Adam itself, has been identified with Tell Damiya, some 18 miles or 30 km. from the place of the Israelite crossing opposite Jericho and where there is a bridge known as the Adam Bridge today. If this identification is correct, the Israelites had a considerably long stretch of dry riverbed over which they could cross in safety. In modern times, the river Jordan has been blocked on a number of occasions by collapsed cliffs and mud, caused by earthquakes. In 1267, a large mound fell into the river near Damiya blocking its flow for 16 hours. It was also in Damiya, in the earthquake of 1927, that a mudslide cut off the river, this time for 24 hours.
In this reconstruction drawing, the northern side of Solomon’s Temple has been cut away to allow the details of the interior to be seen. The Temple measured 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and 30 cubits high (103 by 34 by 52 ft. or 31.5 by 10.5 by 15.75 m.).
In front of the Temple, to the east, stood the bronze Laver or Yam (Hebrew – sea), which rested on twelve bronze oxen. This enormous basin contained 2.000 baths, the equivalent of 16,000 gallons of water and was used by the priests in their ceremonial ablutions. On either side of the Temple were five smaller lavers, which rested on elaborate wheeled bases. Although no altar is described in the description of Solomon’s Temple given in 1 Kings 7 and 8, an altar of brass is mentioned in passing in 1 Kings 8.64 and detailed in the other description of the Temple of Solomon in 2 Chronicles 4.1. Here it is recorded that it measured 20 cubits square and 10 cubits high. Three levels of chambers surrounded the Temple on three sides. The walls of the Sanctuary were built so that ledges were created on which the floors of these chambers could rest. Two bronze pillars called Yachin (He shall establish) and Boaz (in him is strength) supported the Porch. This Porch or Ulam stood in front of the Sanctuary and was 20 cubits long and 10 cubits wide. In the Temple built by Solomon, the Porch must have stood at least 30 cubits high, if you add the height of the pillars and their capitals. The entrance through a wooden door would have given access to the Holy (Heichal), which was 40 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. Here the walls were of cedar wood, carved with motifs of buds and open flowers. The floor was of fir wood overlaid with gold. Although in the Tabernacle, the Table of Showbread stood on the north side, here both it and the Incense Altar are shown in the middle of the Holy. This is because the description of Solomon’s Temple records five golden lampstands as standing on either side of the Holy. The Holy was separated from the Most Holy by a partition made of olive wood carved with motifs of cherubim, palm trees and flowers overlaid with gold. The Holy of Holies (Most Holy) was 20 cubits long, wide and high. The Ark of the Covenant stood in its specially carved place on the rock (1 Kings 8.6,21), under the wings of two large cherubim.
The beautiful model in this photograph shows what the original Solomon’s Temple would have looked like according to the description in the Book of Kings.
The most impressive exterior part of Solomon’s Temple was the Porch. Two bronze pillars called Yachin (He shall establish) and Boaz (in him is strength) supported the Porch. This Porch or Ulam stood in front of the Sanctuary and was 20 cubits long and 10 cubits wide. The Porch must have stood at least 30 cubits high, if you add the height of the pillars (18 cubits) and their capitals. The entrance through a wooden door would have given access to the inner sanctuary. In front of the Temple stood the bronze Laver or Yam (Hebrew – sea), which rested on twelve bronze oxen. This enormous basin contained 2.000 baths, the equivalent of 16,000 gallons of water and was used by the priests in their ceremonial ablutions. On either side of the Temple were five smaller lavers, which rested on elaborate wheeled bases. Although no altar is described in the description of Solomon’s Temple given in 1 Kings 7 and 8, an altar of brass is mentioned in passing in 1 Kings 8.64 and detailed in the other description of the Temple of Solomon in 2 Chronicles 4.1. Here it is recorded that it measured 20 cubits square and 10 cubits high. Three levels of chambers surrounded the Temple on three sides. The walls of the Sanctuary were built so that ledges were created on which the floors of these chambers could rest.
Nehemiah was the great reformer who rallied the people to repair the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down in the Babylonian destruction of 586 B.C., giving the city a new lease of life.
Chapter 3 of the Book of Nehemiah gives a very detailed description of the city walls and its many gates that were repaired in fifty two days. Many archaeological remains of the period have been found and used to achieve a realistic picture of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah. Using a beautifully crafted model, it is possible to trace the walls, starting at the Sheep Gate that was built by Eliashib the High Priest along with other priests and ending at the wall section between the Tower of the Corner and the Sheep Gate, that was repaired by goldsmiths and merchants. Each building section mentioned in Nehemiah 3 is marked on the chart. On completion of the work, Nehemiah led a ceremony of dedication. Two companies of singers and instrumentalists walked on the walls in opposite directions, to meet over the Prison Gate on the north side of the city, ready to enter the Temple Mount through the Sheep Gate.
When he was in Jerusalem, Jesus taught in the Temple on a daily basis. This teaching took place, not in the Temple building itself, but in the Court of the Women, also called the Treasury.
The Court of the Women was so-called, not because its use was solely reserved for women but because this was the farthest they were allowed to proceed into the Temple. The Court of the Women measured 135 cubits square, which gives a surface of 52,900 sq. feet or 5,023 sq. m. Israelite men could proceed through the Nicanor Gate (in the center of the picture) into the Court of the Israelites to bring their sacrifices. Women, who had come to purify themselves after childbirth, as Mary did (Luke 2.24), were allowed to stand in the side opening and watch the sacrifices being offered on the altar. It was in this court also that, when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (Luke 2.22), they met with Simeon and Anna the prophetess. On the left, we see two of the thirteen trumpet-shaped boxes for monetary offerings, which were placed under the colonnade which ran round the Court of the Women. It was probably into one of these that the poor widow dropped her two mites – very small copper coins (Mark 12:42; Luke 21:2). Four towering golden lampstands were set up in the Court of the Women which cast their light over the whole city, lighting up every courtyard in Jerusalem. Each of these lampstands had four bowls which were reached by four ladders on which stood four youths of priestly families who filled the bowls with oil. . The strong impression on the people made by this spectacular tableau must have been in the mind of Jesus when he uttered the words “I am the light of the world” (John 8. 12).
Our classic reconstruction drawing “Jerusalem in 30 A.D.” has been used as a base on which to show the Way to Golgotha. Five stages in Christ’s last journey can be identified, beginning at Gethsemane and culminating at either of the two sites identified as the place of the empty tomb.
1. After he was betrayed by Judas, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. According to the Gospel of John 18.13, he was then brought first to the Palace of the High Priest, Annas, which we have tentatively identified with the Palatial Mansion, found in the excavations of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. 2. Having been found worthy of death, Jesus was beaten and spat upon in the Palace of the High Priest, where Peter also denied that he knew him. Then, as the Jews had no authority to execute anybody, they sent Jesus to Pilate, who was Roman Governor at the time. Pilate’s official residence (or praetorium) in Jerusalem was Herod the Great’s Palace, which the Romans had appropriated after the latter’s death. 3. When the Roman Governor heard then that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent him to Herod Antipas, who was tetrarch of Galilee and Perea and in Jerusalem for the Passover season. His residence was the old Hasmonean Palace, which stood halfway between Herod’s Palace and the Temple Mount. 4. Although Herod Antipas treated Jesus with cruel derision, he could not find him guilty of the charges laid against him. After dressing him in an elegant robe, which mocked his claims to kingship, Herod Antipas had him retrace his steps back to Pilate in the Praetorium. 5. Standing again before Pilate, the chief priests and the elders accused Jesus of making himself a king. Pilate was under such pressure that he had to give in and deliver Jesus up to be crucified. Bearing the crushing weight of his own cross, until relieved by Simon of Cyrene, Jesus was led away to a place called Golgotha (Place of a Skull). There are two main proposals for the location of Golgotha: the Holy Sepulchre (half way down the left side of the drawing) and the Garden Tomb (on top left of drawing). Both sites are problematic, as the traditional Tomb of Christ in the Holy Sepulchre has been destroyed about 1000 years ago and the Garden Tomb was not a newly hewn tomb. Though the last resting place of Christ remains tantalizingly elusive however, there is no uncertainty as to the history-defining miracle that took place within it. As the angel said to the three women: “He has risen! He is not here.”
This presentation brings you on a journey to discover how the letters of Jesus to the representative Seven Churches of Asia were written with full knowledge of the circumstances and environment of each group of believers, making this a compelling subject for Bible study.
This CD has 105 pictures and captions, making it suitable for a two-part talk (or a shorter one, if some slides were left out). It begins on the beautiful Greek island of Patmos, where the Apostle John was told to write the visions which he saw in a scroll and send them to the Seven Churches (Greek singular:”ekklesia”) which were in Asia. We visit these sites: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea in order, with additional slides devoted to Laodicea’s sister churches in the Lycus Valley: Colossae and Hierapolis, (without reference to these neighbouring churches, in particular their water supply, the letter to Laodicea would be unintelligible). The circular postal route of the messenger is mapped, with a separate map given to highlight his journey from one city to the next. Each section includes a slide containing the full message to each church (quoted from the NKJV) with a useful summary given in its caption. The church and its city is then placed in its geographical and historical setting, with links made to the local background in each letter. Images providing Scriptural insight, accompanied by detailed captions, are given of each city. In Ephesus, you can disembark at the ancient harbour and walk with the messenger up the Harbour Way to the Theatre where the great riot had taken place about thirty years earlier in the time of Paul. With reference to Smyrna, see a possible modern remnant of the “crown of life.” In Philadelphia, ponder the poignancy of the promise to the “overcomers” of that city, never more to have to “go out.” This was to a group of people who were used to always having to flee the city, in an area notoriously prone to earthquakes. And there are pictures that show the truly stunning location of some of these cities: the lofty acropolis of Pergamum, Sardis’ gentle glen of the Pactolus, in which King Midas is reputed to have washed off his “golden touch” and the breathtaking beauty of the travertine cliffs of Hierapolis. With the photographs having been taken in April, some of them cannot escape being framed with poppies or Judas Trees. Not living at the time these letters were written, we cannot expect to fully appreciate their force. However, with the help of this presentation and the many illuminating links made to the background of each church, we can better appreciate the message of these letters which are still so remarkably relevant today. The CD cover slide shows the Temple of Trajan in Pergamum, where the cult of Emperor worship made the city the place of “Satan’s Throne”.