Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Fountain of Peirene at Corinth

In the first century A.D. Corinth was the capital of the Roman province of Achaia and had direct communication with Rome. This was a wonderful place for Paul to teach the gospel of Christ (Acts 18).

A large city such as Corinth needed a good water supply. Water from subterranean springs flowed underneath the city and was captured in a reservoir with a capacity of over 81,000 gallons. The Fountain of Peirene was the city’s most important water supply. Even now, if one stands anywhere near the openings in the once impressive structure he can hear the water flowing in the natural spring underneath the city.

The Fountain of Peirene at Corinth. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Fountain of Peirene at Corinth. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

An ornamental fountain once welcomed those who made the turn off the Lechaion Road to the Spring of Peirene.

An ornamental fountain in front of the spring. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

An ornamental fountain in front of the spring. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Lechaion Road at Corinth

The Lechaion Road was the famous road that ran from the port of Corinth to the city. In Corinth the road was 20 to 25 feet wide, made of limestone, and flanked on either side by raised sidewalks and shops. The road ended at the agora which was directly to our back when we made the photo.

The Lechaion Road in Corinth. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Lechaion Road in Corinth. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Apostle Paul came to Corinth in the fall of A.D. 51 and remained until the spring of A.D. 53. During the eighteen months in the city he preached to both Jews and Greeks (Acts 18:1-4, 11).

A case can be made that there was a “lost letter” written by Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:9).

The document we call First Corinthians was written from Ephesus about A.D. 53/54.

Paul may have made a second visit to the city which ended in sorrow; some call this the “painful visit” of 2 Corinthians 2:1; 12:14; 13:1-4.

Paul proposed a third visit (2 Corinthians 12:14; 13:1-2), which probably took place during the three month stay in Greece (Acts 20:2-3). We believe that Paul wrote the letter to the Romans during this visit. Romans was delivered to the Romans by Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae (Romans 16:1).

Joseph’s Tomb at Shechem

Before Joseph died in Egypt, he exacted a promise from the sons of Israel that when God visited them to deliver them from bondage they would carry his bones from Egypt. Upon his death he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt (Genesis 50:25-26). This is what we would expect in Egypt.

The request regarding his bones manifests an understanding of the promise that the LORD would give to the descendants of Abraham the land where Abraham dwelt (Genesis 15:13-16). It also manifests a strong faith regarding the fulfillment of that promise.

Moses took the bones of Joseph with the Israelites when they fled Egypt. This was the strangest thing one can imagine — transporting the mummified body of Joseph through forty years of wilderness wandering.

Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” (Exodus 13:19 ESV)

Eventually, Joseph’s bones were buried at Shechem.

As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph. (Joshua 24:32 ESV)

Tomb of Joseph near Shechem. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tomb of Joseph near Shechem. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The building pictured above is a fairly recent structure that is called the Tomb of Joseph. Jewish settlers come to the empty building, now within the Palestinian territory, frequently. Sometimes fights erupt. One of the recent clashes is described here.

Vandalism in Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion

A little over a year ago I visited the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Shortly thereafter a series of articles were posted about some of the persons buried there. See here for Spafford; here for Starkey; here for Schick; here for Fisher.

My friends Trent and Rebekah are currently students at the Jerusalem University College that adjoins the cemetery. In fact, one enters the locked cemetery gate through JUC property. Unfortunately, it would be possible for a person to enter the cemetery from the southwest corner where there is no fence.

Trent reports vandalism of some of the tombs with crosses last Sunday.

I’m sure you know of the “price tag” policy and campaign. [Yes, see here.]

At some point on Sunday, not sure exactly when, vandals said to be associated with a Price Tag group entered the cemetery (not hard to do from the back/side) and smashed multiple tombstones which were bearing crosses. They also damaged at least one tombstone with Arabic writing.  I checked all the graves which you have written about on the blog (at least what I could find on the blog).  The only grave with damage seemed to be Clarence Fisher.  After talking with Dr. Wright, he says this tombstone was actually damaged in a similar attack about six months ago (photo attached).  The stone has been set back somewhat upright on the grave.

The incident on Sunday was incorrectly reported by some outlets as the nearby Catholic Cemetery.

Here is Trent’s photo of the broken headstone over Clarence Fisher’s grave.

Tomb of Clarence Fisher vandalized in Protestant Cemetery.

Tomb of Clarence Fisher vandalized in Protestant Cemetery.

Another photo shows damage to the tomb of Edmund Schmidt, a German consul to Jerusalem.

Vandalized tomb of Edmund Schmidt.

Vandalized tomb of Edmund Schmidt.

In browsing my photos of September, 2012, I noticed that the cross on this tomb had already been broken and poorly repaired. In the photo above you will see the three pieces of the cross to the left of the headstone.

Tomb of Edmund Schmidt, September, 2012. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tomb of Edmund Schmidt, September, 2012. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

I also noticed that numerous crosses had been broken.

When we destroy that of which we are ignorant we reflect lack of appreciation of any history. It happens all over the world. If we destroy that with which we disagree, what will happen when someone disagrees with us?

The apostle Paul spoke of himself as one who previously destroyed what he presently was rebuilding.

For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. (Gal 2:18 ESV)

Ynet reports here and here the arrest of four Jewish youths in this episode.