Bible Archaeology

Largest Mosaic Discovered in Antioch

The largest mosaic discovered to date in Turkey has been unearthed in the ancient city of Antioch. The mosaic measures 9,150 square feet (850 sq m) and will be preserved within the hotel being constructed on the site. Antioch, located in southeastern Turkey today, was the home of a significant first-century church that sent Paul out on his three missionary journeys (cf. Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-3).

The construction of the hotel is still continuing under the protection and controls of museum officials, said Yastı. The officials constantly control the drilling process and preserve the new artifacts unearthed, she added. The 850-square-meter mosaic is not damaged and in very good condition, she said, adding that it is the first time a mosaic like this has been unearthed in Turkey.

There was also a 3,000-square-meter marble floor discovered during the drilling process, she said, adding that the construction process never damaged the artifacts.

Businessman Necmi Asfuroğlu who owns the construction project said they did not want to damage the artifacts discovered during construction. There will be a 17,000-square-meter museum to exhibit those artifacts, he added. The hotel, on the other hand, will have 200 rooms.

The full article is here


On Having to Remind Priests to Bring Bibles to Clergy Conferences

Should Clergy not always have their Bibles near?!

This is the email recently sent out to all priests in the Diocese of Louisiana from Bishop Morris Thompson, Jr:

Good morning, Brothers and Sisters:

The agenda for our upcoming College of Presbyters is attached. If you have not already registered, there is online registration. Please go to . On the left hand side click on a box entitled, “Info about and Registration for Upcoming Events.” Then click on Clergy & Committee Meetings. From there you can see info about the College and submit your online registration.

I look forward to seeing you on Monday, October 24. Please remember to bring your Bible.


The Rt. Rev’d Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana

And people still wonder why the Anglican Church is in the theological mess that it is…



Want to Buy an Anglican Church?

Any one of seven in Canada:

The Anglican Church is selling seven church properties on southern Vancouver  Island to pay down its deficit.

“It’s been an extremely hard decision,” Chris Pease, asset manager for the  Diocese of British Columbia, said Monday. “It’s a sad time. People have been  part of a community and some of their families actually constructed these  churches.

Some feel anger. Some feel sadness because it’s part of their community  that’s dying.”

The seven church properties, listed for sale with commercial real estate  brokers DTZ Barnicke, have been closed in the past few years as church  attendance decreased and funding declined.

The properties include All Saints Church and St. Columba’s Church in View Royal, St. Alban’s Church and St. Saviour’s Church  in Victoria, Brentwood Chapel Hall in Central Saanich, St. Andrew’s Church in Cowichan and All Saints Church Hall in Crofton.

They range in price from $175,000 to $1.4 million.

They can be sold separately or in packages, said associate broker Griffin  Lewis.

“We’re not sure we’ll sell them all. If the diocese pays off the deficit, we  might be able to take some of the others off the market.”

The current budget deficit is $1.9 million to $3 million, and the only assets  the diocese has are its lands, said Pease. “The reason we’re putting all seven  up at once is to see which ones the public will buy. One of the disadvantages is  that almost all of the properties are zoned for public congregational use. It’s  great if you can sell to another church.

… But when someone else wants to change the land use, it becomes  problematic,” he said.

A lot of the churches are very old and have heritage status…

Read more here.



Freeing Gilad Shalit Shows Israel’s Humanity – and Hamas’s Blood-Chilling Cruelty

His kidnapping five years ago has done the Palestinian cause no favours.

The Catholic Herald:

So, as I write this Gilad Shalit is on his way to freedom and a reunion with his family. The matter is being covered by a live blog at the Telegraph and at the Guardian.

It is certainly a major event for Sergeant Shalit, who had the misfortune to be taken prisoner by Hamas in Gaza five years ago; it is certainly a very important day for his family in Israel, who have spent five years worrying about him: worrying whether he was still alive, worrying whether they would ever see him again. And it is an important day for the Israeli government, who can at last draw a line under this episode, and who can think with satisfaction that they have got their man back. After all, that is the number one duty of all governments – to protect their citizens. The Israeli government, in making such efforts on behalf of Gilad Shalit, and paying so high a price for his release, has shown a Palmerstonian commitment to the welfare of its citizens.

There will, of course, be a great deal of debate about whether the Israelis were right to agree to swap Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. This deal raises the spectre of other Israeli citizens being kidnapped and then exchanged, now that the government of Israel has revealed the high value it places on a single sergeant. But to look at it that way obscures a simpler and more profound point.

Hamas has been content to hold Gilad Shalit for five years; we do not know in what sort of conditions as yet, but we do know that his imprisonment was not in accord with the Geneva convention. Shalit may have been taken in a war but the way he was held reminds us of the kidnapping of Terry Waite, Brian Keenan and John McCarthy. Just as we remember the long agony of that crisis, we ought to understand something of what the Israelis have been going through on behalf of Gilad Shalit. This shows that Hamas is quite prepared to use cruel methods to advance its cause, whatever that cause may be. Cruelty is surely never to be condoned. This behaviour of Hamas ought to chill the blood of all humane people…

All here.

The Franciscan missionaries serving the Holy Land give us this video:

And he is back: