Tag Archives: environment

Don’t mess around with nature

Shmuel Browns has a nice article here on Agamon (Hula) Lake in northern Israel. Perhaps we all know that Lake Hula (Hulah; Huleh) is the small body of water about 10 miles north of the Sea of Galilee.

Browns tells how the lake came to be drained a few decades back, and the reason for its reclamation. I was especially impressed with the number of “creatures” found in the area around the lake. And also of the number of species lost as a result of the draining of the lake.

Josephus refers to Lake Hula by the Roman name of Lake Semechonitis (Ant. 5.199; Jewish Wars 3:515; 4:3).

My earliest association for the site (about 60 years ago) was to identify it as the Waters of Merom (Joshua 11), because this is what Hurlbut suggested in A Bible Atlas. This identification is doubtful, and many modern atlases pass over the issue.

In the new Satellite Bible Atlas, Bill Schlegel says the Canaanites gathered at

…  the Waters of Merom, of uncertain location. The name is preserved at a spring and mountain in Upper Galilee. If this is its location, the Canaanite gathering there is the only significant event described in the Bible that occurred in Upper Galilee. (Map 3-7).

Shmuel shows you some good land photos, and I will show you an aerial photo I made of the reclaimed lake now known as Agamon (Hula) Lake.

Reclamation of Lake Hula. Aerial photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Reclamation of Lake Hula. Aerial photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In the late 1960s, I saw the former location of Lake Hula. By that time there was a line of trees standing where the shore had once been.

Speaking at Florida College Annual Lectures

Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. I am scheduled to present an illustrated lecture on Biblical Coastal Towns of Turkey in Puckett Auditorium at the Florida College Annual Lectures. Normally in these sessions, in which I have participated in for many years, I present material on lesser-visited places that are important to Bible study.

There are several important coastal towns in Turkey that are mentioned in the Bible, mostly in connection with the journeys of Paul. These include Troas, Assos, Ephesus, Miletus, Patara, Myra, Attalia, Perga, and Seleucia. I have chosen to discuss two Black Sea cities (Sinope and Samsun) that are related to the discussion of the route of delivery of the Epistles of Peter, and to two cities on the Mediterranean Sea (Patara and Myra). I was able to visit all of these cities during the past year.

The photo below was made a few miles east of Sinope along the Black Sea (ancient Euxine). The territory is mountainous and the road is often far enough inland that the sea is not visible. Here the road runs along the sea, but still considerably above it. To the south, the mountains are much higher.

Sheep on the road east of Sinope, above the Black Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Sheep on the road east of Sinope, above the Black Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

ETS Plenary Sessions Online

Charles Savelle reports that the video of the plenary sessions at the recent ETS meeting are available online here Individual links are listed below. Zondervan Academic, the provider of the videos, includes advertising that you may skip to get directly to the lecture.

The general theme of the 2012 annual meeting was Caring for Creation. In these four lectures you will find four competent scholars presenting differing views on a subject that is important to each of us.

Calvin Beisner “Creation Care and Godly Dominion: The Search for a Genuinely Biblical Earth Stewardship”

Russell Moore “Heaven and Nature Sing: How Evangelical Theology Can Inform the Task of Environmental Protection, and Vice-Versa”

Richard Bauckham “Reading the Bible in the Context of the Ecological Threats of our Time”

Douglas J. Moo “Biblical Theology and Creation Care”

HT: Charles Savelle @ Bible X

Protecting Israel’s coastline

Last December we reported on damage to Israel’s Mediterranean coastline here (Ashkelon) and here (Caesarea). Now we learn, in an article by Karin Kloosterman, that Israel is spending lots of money to protect the eroding coastline.

A new government initiative worth $135 million will turn about 10 miles of stretches of the Israeli coast into a series of reinforcements and public parks to be enjoyed by locals and tourists. Some of the parks will run through archeological sites of interest.

Kloosterman’s article features the work of geological archaeologist Dr. Beverly Goodman, University of Haifa. Goodman explains the importance of the coastline.

“What we are looking at in Caesarea, on the coastal cliffs, is that we have areas where the coastline has changed so much – and we actually have antiquities that are being eroded into the sea.”

The article says,

Goodman had just finished recording details about the seafloor and archeological remains. After the storm, she returned to her underwater lab to find that some 80 percent of what she’d surveyed had been destroyed or washed away.

You may find a few humorous things in Kloostermann article.

Historically, Israel’s coastal area is important not only for today’s population. According to the Christian Gospels, the Apostle Peter was imprisoned in Caesarea after being arrested in Jerusalem, and an inscription bearing the Christian scriptural name Pontius Pilate was found here.

Our readers will know that it was Peter who first preached the gospel at Caesarea (Acts 10-11), but that it was Paul who was imprisoned at Caesarea (Acts 23-26).

Reporters do have deadlines! Otherwise, the article is fascinating and may be read here.

Our aerial photo, made May 11, shows the main part of Caesarea. The Herodian harbor is on the left. The hippodrome is in the upper center of the photo, and the Roman theater is to the extreme upper right.

Aerial view of Caesarea Maritima. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Aerial view of Caesarea Maritima. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This photo, made April 28, shows some of the damage done to one of the old buildings at the ancient harbor.

Caesarea storm damage from December 2010. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Caesarea storm damage from December 2010. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

HT: Joseph Lauer