Current Events Articles: All posts by Gordon Franz MA

Image of Nebuchadnezzar Found at Carchemish posted by Gordon Franz MA

Isaiah 10:9–11 refers to the destruction of Carchemish by the Assyrian king Sargon II in 717 BC. 2 Chronicles 35:20–25 records the death of Josiah, king of Judah, in 609 BC at Megiddo when Josiah tried to prevent Necho, king of Egypt, from going to Carchemish to help the Assyrians against the Babylonians. And Jeremiah 46:2 alludes to the final defeat of the Assyrians and their Egyptian allies at Carchemish by soon-to-be Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC.

For more see: Anna Lindh Foundation (off site link).

Gordon Franz Speaking at Noah's Ark Symposium in Sirnak, Turkey posted by Gordon Franz MA

The conference will take place September 27-29, 2013 at the Institute of Social Sciences, Şirnak University, Şirnak, Turkey. Gordon will be presenting on Sennacherib, the King of Assyria, and Noah's Ark. Also presenting are Rex Geissler, former member of the ABR Board, and Bill Crouse. Please pray for Gordon, Bill and Rex as they travel to Turkey.

 

For more, visit: Noah's Ark Symposium (off-site link).

Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times posted by Gordon Franz MA

Introduction

 

The Bible is more than just black and white (and sometimes red) letters on the page of a book. It is a book about real people, in real places, experiencing real events in history. Sometimes it is hard to imagine how people lived in Biblical times because of our 21st century Western mindset and experience. When we think of a lamp, we think of a stand with a shade and an electric light bulb in the socket. In the Biblical world there was no electricity, only olive oil and a wick to light the oil lamp. This exhibition gives a glimpse into the material culture of the Biblical world and will give the viewer a third dimension to Biblical studies! One can experience a: “Oh, now I see [literally] what the Bible is talking about” moment!

 

As an archaeologist and a Bible teacher, I was fascinated by the whole exhibition on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). I was able to view some of the latest archaeological discoveries from Israel for the first time, objects that I had only read about in the newspapers or in the archaeological journals. The last time the IAA sent such a large display of antiquities from Israel to New York was to the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the winter of 1986-87. Hopefully it will not be another 25 years before the IAA sends another display to the Big Apple! But let’s enjoy this one while we can.

 

Some of the Highlights

 

There are over 500 archaeological artifacts on display that illustrate daily life and faith in the Biblical world. These include pottery, bullae, seals, coins, jewelry, ossuaries, figurines, and architectural remains. Some of the objects are shown for the first time outside of Israel. I will mention just a few of them.

 

Several display cases can illustrate the financial transaction of the Prophet Jeremiah buying the field from his cousin Hanamel in Jeremiah 32. There are scale pans, silver ingots, seals, bullae, shekel weights, and the earthen vessel that deeds might be placed for safekeeping. (For further study, see: Signed, Sealed and Delivered: An Archaeological Exposition of Jeremiah 32:1-15 on the author's website.) There is a display of objects found at the High Place at Tel Dan, including a horned altar and a bath (1 Kings 12:25-33; cf. 2 Kings 10:29; Amos 8:14).

 

The conquest of Lachish is one of those rare events where the Biblical records (2 Kings 18:14; 19:8; Isa. 37:8), the Assyrian records, an Assyrian “photograph” (the Lachish Relief, now in the British Museum), and the actual excavation at the site, all converge to give us a full picture of what actually took place during this event. On the Lachish Reliefs, archers and slingers can be seen shooting arrows and slinging stones at the Judeans on the walls of the city. During the excavations at Lachish many iron arrowheads and flint sling stones were found from the battle in 701 BC. The size of the sling stone is slightly smaller than a tennis ball. David, when he slew Goliath, probably used a stone about this size that he picked out of the brook in the Elah Valley (1 Sam. 17:40, 49-50).

 

What really left an impression on me was how small the ancient phylacteries, called tefillin in Hebrew, really were. These small leather containers, with small parchments containing Scripture, were worn by Jewish men to fulfill the injunction to: “bind them [the commandments] as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deut. 6:6-9; cf. Ex. 13:9, 16; Deut. 11:18). This object is mentioned only once in the Gospels (Matt. 23:5).

 

There are twenty Dead Sea Scrolls in this exhibition, including fragments of the Book of Numbers, the “Song of Moses” in Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Psalms, Paleo-Leviticus, and Minor Prophets in Greek. There are also parts of the Isaiah and Nahum commentaries and the Targum of Job. Only ten scrolls are displayed at one time. Half way through the exhibition the other ten will go on display and the first ten will rest. The manuscripts are sensitive to light, so the presenters have the scrolls in a darkened environment and the light comes on when a motion detector senses a person looking at the display so as to not “wear out” the parchments.

 

Where, When, and How Much?

 

The Discovery Times Square exhibition hall is located at 226 West 44th St., between 7th and 8th Ave. in New York City. It is across the street from the Shubert Theatre and also a parking garage. Please note that West 44th St. is one way going east, so Discovery Times Square must be approached from 8th Ave. (which in one-way going north).

 

The hours for the exhibit are Monday to Thursday, 10 AM to 7 PM and Friday to Sunday from 10 AM to 8 AM. The last entry is one hour before closing. It will run until April 15, 2012 and then it will move to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and run for five months beginning in May, 2012.

 

The ticket pricing is $25 for adults, $22.50 for seniors, and $19.50 for children. One can order tickets through the Internet, or pay at the window at the entrance. There is also a group rate for groups of ten or more people. For groups, please phone 855-266-5387, or email groups@tsxnyc.com

 

Website: http://www.discoverytsx.com/exhibitions/dead-sea-scrolls

 

Mark Gatt’s Critique of “The Lost Shipwreck of Paul” Video posted by Gordon Franz MA

Gatt authored a book entitled PAVLVS, The Shipwreck 60 AD (Allied Publications, 2009) that described the possible implications of an anchor stock that he discovered off the coast of Malta a few years ago. In his analysis of Cornuke’s “The Lost Shipwreck of Paul” Gatt gives a local Maltese diver’s perspective of the issue. He says the video, like the book by the same title, is “so fraught with mistakes and manipulated facts” that he was compelled to write a refutation. The article entitled, The Rape of Our Pauline Traditions, was published in the “Malta Independent” on October 16, 2011 and is now on their website.

 

Gatt adds some new information to the discussion. For example, he revealed a Public Question that was asked in the Maltese parliament of the Prime Minister, Lawrence Gonzi, as to why he sent an affidavit to the courts in Colorado for a lawsuit between the former US ambassador to Malta and Cornuke. The prime minister responded that it was “sent to safeguard the reputation of the Armed Forces of Malta and its officers because these have been misquoted in Bob Cornuke’s publication.”

 

If you have seen the video, or are thinking about watching it, this excellent and witty critique will be very informative and well worth your time.

 

For my critique, see: http://www.lifeandland.org/2011/09/1008/ 

 

 

ABR Editorial Note: The title of this article by Mr. Gatt is somewhat abrasive, but the substance of his critique remains strong.

A Report on the 2010 Hazor Excavations posted by Gordon Franz MA

The twenty-first season of the ‘Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in Memory of Yigael Yadin’ took place between June 20  and July 30, 2010. ABR's own Gordon Franz participated in this work for 6 weeks.The following report was written by the co-directors: Dr. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman.

http://unixware.mscc.huji.ac.il/~hatsor/nn2010.htm

Has Paul's Shipwreck Been Found? posted by Gordon Franz MA

Robert Cornuke appeared on the 700 Club on Friday February 26, 2010, in part, to promote his claims pertaining to the shipwreck of Paul on the island of Malta. This thesis has been thoroughly evaluated by ABR Staff member Gordon Franz, and shown to be untenable. A review of Mr. Cornuke's latest public comments can be found here:

"Searching For Paul's Shipwreck on Malta": A Critique of the 700 Club's February 26, 2010 Program

Read Gordon's previous in depth critique here:

Does "The Lost Shipwreck of Paul" Hold Water?

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