Monthly Archives: December 2012

Turkey wants British Museum to return sculptures from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

According to an article in The Guardian (here), the town of Bodrum in Southwest Turkey wants the British Museum to return several priceless sculptures once associated with the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in the 4th century B.C.

Human rights legislation that has overturned the convictions of terrorists and rapists could now rob the British Museum of sculptures created for one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

A Turkish challenge in the European court of human rights will be a test case for the repatriation of art from one nation to another, a potential disaster for the world’s museums.

Halicarnassus is where Mausolus built a gigantic tomb in honor of himself. Leon Mauldin and I visited the site earlier in the year. You may read about our visit (with photos) here. It became known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Two of the sculptures that the town of Bodrum wants returned are through to be of Mausolus and Artemisia, his wife. Here is a photo of the marble statue thought to be Mausolus.

Statue of Mausolus in British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Statue of Mausolus in British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The next statue is usually identified as Artemisia, wife of Mausolus.

Statues from the Mausoleum of Maussollos - Marble, About 350 B.C

Statue from Halicarnassus, usually identified as Artemisia, the wife of Mausolos. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Another reason to visit the British Museum soon, or Turkey later.

HT: Jack Sasson

A new study guide for those who wish to understand the overall picture of the Bible

How do we deal with the problem of the person who does not know very much about the Bible and gets lost in some of our classes? I recall one time teaching Romans in a church class. I think we were already in chapter 11. A visitor came to the class. Toward the end of the class when I was entertaining questions, the visitor spoke up saying, “I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.” I sympathized with him and mentioned that we had set the stage for the current class over a period of months.

Marc Hinds, a former student of mine at Florida College, understands that many students need a general survey of the Bible. He has provided a solution for this problem in his newly published book by 21st Century Christian. The full name, The Big Picture: A Guide to Learning the Bible’s Story, explains what he is trying to do with this book. The book is suitable for classes of beginners or more advanced learners who haven’t yet understood the overall picture of the Bible.

The Big Picture, by Marc Hinds.

The Big Picture, by Marc Hinds.

In this book of 15 lessons, you will find a brief survey of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The book is printed in full color with many illustrations, photographs, and maps drawn (by Marc) specifically to illustrate the lesson. This book will be suitable for church classes, or individual home study.

The book may be ordered from 21st Century Christian, other bookstores, or Amazon here: The Big Picture: A Guide to Learning the Bible’s Story.

Limited time bargain on a great Bible atlas

Christianbook.com is offering Carl Rasmussen’s Zondervan Atlas of the Bible for a limited time at the unusual price of $14.99. Click here.

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I can’t promise that it will still be available by the time I get this posted, but you can try.

Update Noon  12-04-12:  I see the price is now $19.99. If you have a a Prime account with Amazon (postage free), or wish to add another item, the price may be better at $22.73 for Zondervan Atlas of the Bible.

This Atlas is an extremely good one. It is well written, accurate, colorful, filled with great photos and helpful maps. Earlier this evening I emailed a notice to folks who have traveled with me recently, or who plan to, with this note:

This is an excellent book for anyone planning a tour to Israel, or anyone who has been. It should be one of your most helpful Bible study tools.

One of the ladies who traveled to Israel earlier this year replied with this note:

That is a great price. I got one before we went. I use it daily as I read and it sure brings the scriptures alive. It is much more so now that we have seen the country.

Acts 25 — Photo Illustrations — Coins of the Rulers

We continue our look at the three chapters describing Paul’s stay at Caesarea Maritima — Acts 24-26. Three civil rulers are mentioned in these chapters. They are known not only from Luke’s account, but in the writings of Josephus.

Rapske says that Caesarea “was the administrative seat of the Roman procurators of Palestine.” He adds that in the time of the Flavians it became a Roman Colony (The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting; Vol. 3, The Book of Acts and Paul in Roman Custody, 155).

After the Romans occupied “Palestine” the Jews had both a religious and a secular tax to pay. The procurators (prefects) were responsible for collecting the taxes for Rome. Coins were minted by various procurators, including Felix and Festus. I have chosen one example from each to show the type of coin current in their time.

Antonius Felix — A.D. 52-59.

Felix is described as a hegemon in the Greek New Testament. Major English versions use the term governor (Acts 23:24, 26; 24:2, 22, 24, 25, 27; 25:14). Hemer says that hegemon is a general word to describe a ruler, “the formal Latin title of these governors of Judaea being procurator or praefectus” (The Book of Acts, 128).

The obverse (head) of the coin of Felix shows two oblong shields and two spears. The inscription is translated “Nero Claudius Caesar–son of Claudius. The reverse (tail) shows a “six-branched palm tree bearing two bunches of dates” with a Greek inscription above and below (Hendin, Guide to Biblical Coins (1987), 117).

Coin of Roman Procurator Felix.

Coin of Roman Procurator Felix.

Porcius Festus — A.D. 59-61.

Porcius Festus followed Felix as governor or procurator. He is mentioned in each of the three chapters we are discussing. Paul had been left in custody by Felix, and Festus seems to be pleased to get the advice of King Agrippa when he visited Caesarea.

The coin of Festus, struck in A.D. 58, bears a Greek inscription within a wreath on the obverse. At the bottom is an X. The inscription reads NER ONO C (Nero). The reverse shows a palm branch with a Greek inscripton KAIC APOC (Caesar). The date LE means year five (Hendin, 118).

Coin of Porcius Festus.

Coin of Roman Procurator Porcius Festus.

Herod Agrippa II — A.D. 48-70.

Herod Agrippa II was the son of Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great (Acts 12:1, et al.). Agrippa II was the tetrarch of Chalcis and of northern territories. Chalcis was the small but beautiful territory between the Lebanon and Antilebanon mountains. Later he was granted the territories that had been controlled by Philip and Lysanias. Agrippa lived until the end of the first century, and minted coins even to the time of the Roman Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81-96).

According to Hendin, the obverse shows a laureate bust of Domitian facing right. The inscription around it reads DOMITIAMOC KAICAP (Domitian Caesar). The reverse shows Nike standing right. One foot is resting on a helmet. She is writing on a shield that is resting on her knee. The inscription reads ETO KZBA AΓPIΠΠA (Year 27 of King Agrippa). The coin was struck in A.D. 83. (I do not know how best to harmonize the dates associated with the reign of Agrippa II.)

Coin of Herod Agrippa II with image of Domitian. Struck A.D. 83.

The coin above is copied from FORVM ANCIENT COINS.


I have only the original edition of Hendin’s Guide to Biblical Coins, but recommend the newer fifth edition of his book in the event that you have a genuine interest in Biblical coins. From my limited collecting experience, I can say that it is both fascinating and educational.