We awoke to a bright, glorious Sunday morning in Jerusalem! (The weather is fantastic!) Above, I’ve given you a glimpse of Chord’s Bridge from our hotel balcony. This work of art is designed to look like King David’s Harp, but functionally serves as a bridge for the light rail and a walkway connecting to the Central Bus Station. It is a landmark in the center of Jerusalem, near the government and museums district.
We spent the day at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem (one of the sponsors of our seminar), which currently houses the “Rivers of Babylon” exhibit. It is a fascinating exhibit, not only providing detail about the Babylonian captivity which occurred around 600 BC, but also including artifacts that help us understand the Jewish roots of our Scriptures.
For example, Isaiah 11:6 references the peaceful cohabitation of wolves, lambs, leopards, goats, calves and lions. We are, of course, awaiting the prophetic fulfillment of that time. However, though we think of the captivity as an overpowering of Jews by the Babylonians (which it was), we have to understand that Judaism had an impact on Babylon as well! Many artifacts have been found in the Mesopotamian area (where Babylon was located in Biblical times), including the vase pictured here, confirming the idea taught in the Isaiah passage.
In only one day of seminar, there has been far too much gleaned to share in a single blog post. However, suffice it to say that Judaism is so foundational to every culture, and we can’t even begin to ignore its significance as we study Scripture. Today, we were taught by highly educated Christian scholars about the importance of the Old Testament to our faith, as well as the Jewish context of the New Testament. It was fascinating and eye-opening.
In particular, we heard from Dr Petra Heldt about Christianity in the Middle East today. I am processing through it all and will share with you later one of the key reasons Muslims refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. (Today was “Biblical theology” day, in preparation to hear other scholars [mostly Jewish] teach us in the days ahead.)
We began the day at 8:00am and finished the day at 9:00pm, and I can tell you a fire has been lit! I look forward to the days ahead! Our schedule is packed, but it promises to be time well-spent as 27 of us learn how we can better inform others about the Jewishness of our heritage, the peril of the Jews in recent history and today, and how we build bridges between Christians and Jews!
I pray you have a blessed Lord’s Day! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for praying!
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