We had an on time flight from Newark to Glasgow on Continental Airlines. Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, was founded by St. Mungo in A.D. 550. We visited the old area of the city around the Cathedral. The photo below is of the oldest building in the city. It was constructed in A.D. 1471. This University of Glasgow was in this area in previous times. It is here that both Thomas and Alexander Campbell attended university, and where they began their break with the Presbyterian church. They would become leaders in what we call the Restoration Movement in America.
You notice that there is no beautiful sky in the background. It even drizzled a little this morning. In the afternoon there were some beautiful periods of bright, sunny skies.
Glasgow was founded on the Clyde River. The swan adds a nice touch in this photo of the river. Glasgow was the home of Professor William Barclay, whose word studies have proved valuable to many preachers
In the afternoon we visited The Burrell Collection, a nice museum in a beautiful natural setting in the outskirts of Glasgow. It holds the private collection of Sir William Burrell. Some Scottish long hair coos (we say cows) were on display in fields around the museum.
Out hotel tonight is north of Glasgow at Cumbernauld. It is a resort hotel with a beautiful golf course. This photo outside my room tonight shows that I am only half bad, contrary to what some have said!
Everyone in the group is doing well. Every piece of luggage arrived with us, and we are enjoying the cooler weather.
This evening our group will be leaving for a Best of Scotland tour.
We hope to post a few blogs from Scotland in the next few days. The first one will probably be Wednesday, Sept. 12.
Elizabeth and I spent the night at the Country Inn and Suites near the Newark Liberty International Airport. I intended to do more on the Internet, but the wired connection from the room was as slow as molasses on a winter day. Hope to do better in Scotland.
On recent tours to Israel we have been unable to visit the Temple Mount. The Islamic buildings there, the Mosque of Omar (Dome of the Rock) and the Al Aksa Mosque, have no spiritual significance for us. The site, however, is very important biblically. It was likely here on Mount Moriah that Abraham offered Isaac (Genesis 22). It is where David placed the ark of the covenant, and where the Temple was built by Solomon in 966 B.C. ( 2 Chronicles 3). That temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 597 B.C.. After the return from captivity, the Jews rebuilt the temple with the help of the Persian king Darius in 520-516 B.C. Herod the Great more or less replaced this structure with his magnificent temple beginning in 19 B.C. Jesus visited this temple numerous times (John 2:19). In this area the gospel was preached for the first time on the Pentecost of Acts 2.
In the late 7th century A.D., a Muslim ruler constructed the building we now commonly call the Dome of the Rock.
The photo above, made April 3, 2006, shows the Western Wall of the temple enclosure built by Herod. The temple platform, where you see the golden dome, is where the biblical temple once stood. Many news items have been written about the temporary bridge leading to the Temple Mount, and the removal of the earth by archaeologists to reveal more of the Western Wall. There has also been considerable controversy over repairs being made by the Muslims on the Temple Mount.
One good source to help you keep up with this controversy is Dr. Leen Ritmeyer’s blog. There you will find pictures of the terrible destruction taking place. Ritmeyer has drawn many of the excellent plans you may have seen published in various books.
“Weeping for the Jordan” is the title of a short news item in Christianity Today, Sept., 2007, p. 17. The article from the RNS says the lower portion of the Jordan River “is so polluted that the World Monuments Fund (WMF) has designated it an Endangered Cultural Heritage Site.”
We often point out to audiences that the Jordan has much less water flowing through it now than it did even 50 years ago. This is because Israel uses much of the water of the Jordan and its tributaries for water and agricultural irrigation. Jordan has dams on the Yarmuk and Jabbok rivers, tributaries from the east.
There is not full agreement among scholars, but many believe that the site where Jesus was baptized by John is a few miles north of the Dead Sea. In 1967 I was able to visit that site. Since the 1967 war it has not been possible for tourists to visit there. A few years back a site was excavated in Jordan that has been claimed to be Bethany Beyond the Jordan (Jn. 1:28).
The CT article points out that the Jordan River is “highly polluted with sewage and agricultural runoff” near Bethany Beyond Jordan, but that some tourists do not realize this and wade in the water.
In 2006 I was able to take my group to Bethany Beyond Jordan and visit the Jordan River. Here is one of the photos made at that time.
We are hopeful of visiting this site again in 2008. Perhaps it is in the area where John did some of his baptizing (cf. Jn. 10:40). The Israelites crossed the Jordan somewhere near here (Josh. 3), and the prophets Elijah and Elisha crossed in the opposite direction near here (2 Kings 3).
This photo was made on the West side of the Jordan River, in the country of Jordan, in 1967. This is directly across from the Bethany Beyond Jordan site.
The photo was made on or about May 5, 1967. Notice the attire. Women wore hosiery and other items to help their body hold an ideal shape. Most men wore a coat, and many wore ties on the plane and throughout the entire trip, even in hot weather. Some hotels would not allow a man in the dining room unless he was wearing a coat. Were these the good old days?
If you are looking for the blogs and photos of the Ancient Crossroads Tour of Biblical and Historical Turkey, please look to the right under Archives and go to May 2007. Start at the bottom of the page and make your way up. Then move on to June, etc.
The Ancient Crossroads tour covered the area of the Hittites and Paul’s first missionary journey. In addition, I spent a week visiting biblical sites in Eastern Turkey. These included the land of Ararat, traditional Mount Ararat, Harran [Haran], Mesopotamia, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, etc.