"I forgot to say one more thing. I love the history, the facts, the trivia, and the references you present. I know that you have traveled to and lived in the Middle East. I find that so fascinating. One of my greatest desires and next adventure is to…"
I read your last reply in the Bible Trivia Forum. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very informative; and the points you made were well grounded and I agree with you on the subject of Mary Magdalene and the nonsense that many people…"
No, I'm not a minister or in the seminary. Thanks for the compliment. I'm just in love with God. I search God out and see Him(Her, Us) wherever God is to be found; whether it be on the pages of the Bible, the contents of a…"
I posted a reply in your forum "Do Animals Have Souls?". I look forward to hearing other people's responses and opinions in the future as the membership here grows and more people browse through the forum section.
"CANTICLE OF WONDER (Reginald Jay Townes)
Oh Great Dreamer, God of the impossible, you never cease to amaze us.
-At every crisis and difficult situation you meet us with a blessing in disguise.
-At every extreme circumstance you are there to lead…"
"-"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them."--St. Matthew 18:20. Thank you for your most warm and cordial welcome. I do look forward to worshiping here in this internet gathering and…"
"-"Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."--St. Matthew 18:20. Thank you for your most warm and cordial welcome. I do look forward to worshiping here in this internet gathering and experiencing…"
Maybe you should travel to Syria with Paul Hawgood next spring!
Life in the Middle East is different from life in western Europe because people remember much further back.
In Yemen, you're despised if you can't describe your family tree back to Peleg or Joktan/Qahtan (5th generation descendants of Noah, via his son Shem)
So much for people like me who only know as far back as my grandparents!
But it means when you visit historical places, people often talk about ancient history as if it happened yesterday. Which is incredible when you're visiting places in the Holy Land, Lebanon and Syria, especially.
For example, there was a Syrian king of Edessa, Abgar, who wrote a letter to Jesus, asking Him to come and cure him of an illness. Jesus replied that He couldn't come but He would send Thaddeus (Addai). In thanks, Abgar commissioned a portrait of Jesus, which one of his court officials Hannan painted and which was kept in Abgar's court at Edessa.
Eusebius recorded this and he was a pretty reliable historian. He put both Abgar's letter and Jesus' reply in his history. Several copies of the letter exist, in Syriac and other languages.
While European historians who've never been to Syria argue about the authenticity of the letters, Syrians and Armenians revere Abgar as a saint and have celebrated his saint's day since very early times.
The portrait has never been found. Local legend states firmly that it was a painting yet Europeans have turned it into the Turin Shroud. To my mind, it would be better to excavate the ancient court of Edessa properly and try to find the real thing instead of inventing a false substitute.
I was stunned when the caretaker of Nabi Omran told me it was Jesus' grandfather's tomb as if the man had just died recently and it's perfectly possible that it is his tomb.
It's really sad that the church behind the tomb has not been excavated and the history of the tomb itself hasn't been investigated.
I was amazed when I visited a mosque at Karak in Lebanon's Beqa'a Valley and was told it was Noah's tomb. It's called Nabi Nuh, which means the Prophet Noah and a mosque now commemorates him, built on top of a chapel on top of a temple, like so many Lebanese holy buildings.
Lebanese legend says Noah's Ark ended up in the Beqa'a Valley. He ruled the area, which is where he established the first ever vineyards. They say he had one foot in Karak and one in Ainjar, the other side of the valley. And this is where the rainbow appeared, too.
I thought at first, "Hooey, the Ark landed on Mt Ararat". But in fact when I checked my Bible properly, it only says the Ark came to rest on Mt Ararat. It doesn't say it stayed there and it was a long time after that that that Noah and his family left the boat.
So they could conceivably have sailed further south into the Beqa'a, which is still vineyard country, with very fine wines still profuced there (the Lebanese red Al Musar was worldwide best red wine for some years and tastes like liquid silk).
Phoenicia was called Canaan by the locals. (Phoenicia is the Greek name). And Noah had a grandson called Canaan so maybe the land was named after him rather than after the Phoenician Purple scarlet dye.
Or maybe he's the Melqart (the name is a corruption of Malik al Qart, which means King of The City - The City being Tyre, which was an extremely rich trading city so referred to just like our City of London as simply The City) who founded the purple dye industry.
Canaan's sons, Sidon and Heth, are said to have founded the cities of Sidon and Zarapheth, (now Sarafand, where Elijah later lodged for three years with a widow and her son, whom he brought back to life).
If Sidon founded the city of Sidon, it's possible that his father Canaan ruled Tyre and what is now south Lebanon because Tyre was founded before Sidon and Tyre, and Sidon and Sarafand are all close to one another.
Heth is also generally regarded as the father of the Hittites and he also built Hebron in the Holy Land, where Abraham later bought a family tomb.
It was fascinating to visit villages, have Yahya ask his catchall, "Wayn al asr?" (Where's the ancient building?) and then hear all these superb legends.
I think the legends need some serious archeological research but who's going to give funding for that? Funding goes to research in the Holy Land or to digs where there are massive ancient Egyptian, Assyrian or Babylonian sites.
You don't learn things like this in books, only by visiting the actual places and listening to people. Some of the claims may be spurious but often a long line of oral history has been passed down by villagers.
I could talk about ancient history forever. Can you believe I was never interested in history at school? I only became interested when I saw the Roman temples at Ba'albek, which are mindblowing, and the massive Roman site at Tyre, which is the most wonderful, most interesting ancient site I've seen (and I've seen a few!)
Better finish here before this post turns into a 3-volume novel.
God bless. Lynda
Yes, I read the da Vinci Code book. What a load of nonsense. But then, as the author stressed, it was FICTION.
I can't believe that so many people think it was fact, even after he went to the trouble of emphasising so often that it wasn't. But then, I can't believe so many people have believed Pope Gregory, either.
I think this shows poor our education systems are, that people who've been "educated" can't differentiate fact and fiction, and also don't have a good knowledge base in the first place to start thinking from so that they don't think things out for themselves, either.
That's one reason I find you so impressive. You've obviously spent a great deal of time and trouble studying so when you comment on something, it comes across as really well-considered and sensible.
God bless. Lynda
You are so busy! Thank you for all your contributions. We need this kind of dynamism, this is great.
Your knowledge of the Bible is awesome. Are you a professional minister? Or studying in a seminary?
I read your very considered response about whether animals have souls.
No, I didn't do any research on that; it's just a question I've pondered from time to time.
I found your reply very insightful so thank you very much.
God bless. Lynda
Well, I knew you were a Gibran fan thouh it sutely can't be that long since you read The Prophet - you don't look old enough for it to have been too long ago! (she says from the heights of late middle age).
I like your new page colour scheme, Very restful on the eyes, soothing.
Keep the prayers coming.
Have a look on the front page, too (just click on the link from the Main page here on Return to London Internet Church).
For every prayer you put there, a prayer is said in St Stephen Walbrook church and for every virtual candle you light there, a real candle is lit in the church, too. So even though you're the other side of the Big Pond, you can light a candle here in London.
God bless. Lynda
Hello, RJ, and welcome to the London Internet Church community forum.
There's lots to see and join in with here so I hope you enjoy exploring and getting to know other members of our congregation.
I edit the community forum so if you have any questions, just ask me.
God bless. Lynda